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Film / Time Piece

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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 a hapless everyman's adversarial relationship with 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 '60s, 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.
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  • Arc Word: The only word spoken during the short's eight-minute run is Jim's whimpered "Help!", which appears a total of four times.
  • Audible Blink: Jim's frequent blinks are accompanied by the sound of a camera shutter.
  • The Cameo: Frank Oz and Jerry Juhl, two of Henson's usual cohorts, make brief appearances.
  • Gainaxing: A short clip of a woman's bouncing bust is featured, punctuated by a "boing!" noise.
  • Mickey Mousing: The basic structural frame of the entire film. The film is scored for percussion and everything is synchronized to the same steady rhythm — an impressive feat for Jim, since he had to do multiple takes walking (or running) at the exact same speed and length of stride.
  • Pie in the Face: A nightclub comic (played by prop builder Don Sahlin) is smacked in the face with a pie.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Real Life example. This movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film, but lost to Claude Berri's Le Poulet — which is only remembered nowadays as The Short That Took Jim Henson's Oscar.
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  • 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 pink, 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.

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