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Time Piece (1965)

 -  Short | Comedy | Fantasy  -  1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 445 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

A surreal stream of consciousness montage about time and related bizarreness.



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Title: Time Piece (1965)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Enid Cafritz ...
Dennis Paget
Jim Hutchison ...
Male Dancer
Barbara Richman
Diana Birkenfield
April March ...
Dave Bailey ...
Sandy Patterson
Jerry Juhl ...
Messenger boy (as Frank Oznowicz)


Dislocation in time, time signatures, time as a philosophical concept, and slavery to time are some of the themes touched upon in this nine-minute, experimental film, which was written, directed, and produced by Jim Henson-and starred Jim Henson! Screened for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art in May of 1965, Time Piece enjoyed an eighteen-month run at one Manhattan movie theater and was nominated for an Academy Award for outstanding short subject. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Comedy | Fantasy



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1965 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This film features a "beat" (a scene cut, foot step, spoken word, etc.) on every second for most of the film. See more »


[first lines]
[last lines]
Man: [only line of dialogue in the film] Help!
See more »


Featured in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

it can now be found on some sites on-line; well worth seeking out as one of the best of the 60s
24 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jim Henson as a filmmaker sometimes doesn't get as much credit as for his main innovations with the Muppets and establishing them throughout the years as the head producer of the Henson company. But behind the genius puppeteer that he was, he was also very good at creating a style that was all his own, whether it was with the original and enlightening fantasy films he made in the 80s or with the Muppet movies. Part of what crosses over from his time with the Muppets with this rarely seen short film, Time Piece, is the pure sense of tongue placed firmly in cheek. The theme of time is one that many art films deal with (not the least of which Bergman), but this film is like a collaboration between the crazier silent shorts of the 1920s and Chuck Jones. I laughed many times during this film, but it's also a marvel of- of course- timing, but also at getting the right rhythm with the images. It goes without saying that its directness in the editing, with its tempo always on step without going overboard, is some of the best I've ever seen in a short film.

Little moments end up making the best parts of Henson's film, where no real story emerges aside of himself sort of being witness to the follies of the world in a very crazy manner. And it's also an exercise in repetition- a few times the one spoken word of the film pops up ("Help")- by Henson, and it's always very funny. But the comic timing is explored in little themes Henson had in later films, such as food, with one of the real laugh out loud bits being when Henson and the woman eat at the table as they one-up each other. Or seeing the delirious pathway in Henson running around towards the end (being chased, no doubt, by archive footage). It all ends then, to put it mildly, down the toilet (literally I mean). This is a surprising film with as much invention that can be fused cinematically into its concept- showing time as being very musical in a sense, and possibly breaking the balance that it usually keeps with day to day life. It's an early gem, and its quite a stroke of luck to find it on-line or through a rare 16mm print; one of the true unfortunates in being unavailable to the masses and other fans of Henson.

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