Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

Time Piece is the acclaimed 1965 nine-minute experimental short film that was writ­ten, di­rect­ed and pro­duced ​by Jim Hen­son; the film also starred Henson. Beginning in the spring of 1964, nearly ten years after the introduction of the Muppets, Henson filmed the short film on weekends and late nights between his commercial projects and Muppet appearances. Premiered at New York City’s Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in May of 1965, Time Piece en­joyed an eigh­teen-​month run at one Man­hat­tan movie the­ater and in 1966 was nom­i­nat­ed for the Acade­my Award for Out­stand­ing Short Sub­ject.

Time Piece is the story of Everyman, frustrated by the typical tasks of a typical day. With a rhythmic soundtrack and visual clock motif, the film follows follows a nameless man through his mundane daily activities, a montage intercut with surreal fantasy and pop-culture references. The film touches upon themes such as man’s dis­lo­ca­tion in time, time sig­na­tures, time as a philo­soph­i­cal con­cept and slav­ery to time. The film’s only dialog is a repeating cry of “Help!”from Henson, who can’t help but sound like his Kermit the Frog counterpart.

Time Piece: The Story of Everyman’s Torment

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Over Time: A Sad Tale of the Mystery of Death

Over Time: A Sad Tale of the Mystery of Death

Over Time is a phenomenal animated short film by the directing team of Oury Atlan, Thibaut Berland and Damien Ferrie from the French animation school Supinfoco. The film is simply amazing; accomplished CG is used to animate, and a black-and-white palette with a powerful musical score lend its finest scenes a haunting, operatic grandeur.

The film tells the story of the Muppets who continue on after the death of their master, Jim Henson. It presents a heart-rending tale of the sad mystery of death. Common lore holds that the first stage of grief is always denial, but that’s the only possibility if you’re not even able to conceive of death (such as in the case of a young child).  It’s as if you were a puppet, and your own creator died. You could just valiantly try to bring him back to life, the same way he once did with you.

And so it is in Over Time, where the small fabric puppets find their creator lying on his bench, dead. But our sad little creatures don’t understand that he died, for they had never been confronted with such a concept. Instead, they devote all of their subsequent efforts to incorporate Henson’s body into their own daily routine, as they very slowly come to terms with his death.

Over Time: A Sad Tale of the Mystery of Death

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Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

Over Time is an amazing short movie created by the young French filmmakers Oury Atlan, Thibaut Berland and Damien Ferrié.  The film is an obvious homage to Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, and presents a heart-rending tale of a sad mystery of death.  Common lore holds that the first stage of grief is always denial, but that’s the only possibility if you’re not even able to conceive of death (such as the case of a young child).  It’s as if you were a puppet, and your own creator died.  You could just valiantly try to bring him back to life, the same way he once did with you.

And so it is in Over Time, where the small fabric puppets find their creator lying on his bench, dead.  Our sad little creatures don’t understand that he died, for they had never been confronted with such a concept.  They devote all of their subsequent efforts to incorporate Henson’s body into their own daily routine, as they slowly come to terms with his death.

Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

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