Film: Time Piece

Time Piece is an Oscar-nominated 1965 short film directed by and starring Jim Henson. The short has no discernible plot; the underlying theme of the film is an everyman running away from time.

This film provides examples of:

  • And Now For Something Completely Different: This was the first project in Jim Henson's career that did not feature any puppetry whatsoever; during The Sixties, Jim went through an experimental film period, and wanted to take on projects outside of The Muppets - this was the first of three such non-Muppet experimental films, the other two being the Experiment in Television episodes Youth '68: Everything's Changing... Or Maybe It Isn't and The Cube.
  • Arc Word: The only word spoken during the short's eight-minute run is "Help," a total of four times.
  • The Cameo: Frank Oz and Jerry Juhl, two of Henson's usual cohorts, make brief appearances.
  • Doing It for the Art: Like almost every project Jim ever created, however this one in particular is considered to be his most personal pet project ever. Jim himself even noted the reason he did this film was to experience with different techniques of filming, timing, and editing - he even actually noted exactly how many frames of film each sequence should take.
  • Gainaxing: A short clip of a woman's bouncing bust is featured, punctuated by a "boing!" noise.
  • Pie in the Face: A man is smacked in the face with a pie.
  • Reality Subtext: While it's never been confirmed or denied, Muppet writer Jerry Juhl seems to believe that this film may have reflected Jim's feeling of there not being enough time for him to finish everything he sets out to accomplish; a feeling that stuck with Jim all throughout his life since the death of his older brother in a car accident at an early age.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Real Life example. This movie lost its Oscar to Claude Berri's Le Poulet, which is only remembered nowadays as the short that took Jim Henson's Oscar.
  • Something Else Also Rises: A striptease scene is interrupted by a banana and a champagne cork popping off the bottle.
  • Surreal Music Video: It isn't a true music video per se, but it certainly fits this trope thanks to an exploding alarm clock, a man painting an elephant purple, and a man in a gorilla suit on a pogo stick, among too many other elements to possibly list.
  • Toplessness from the Back: A short montage shows several women unhooking their bras from behind.