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Okay, the thing is, this isn't a movie you can really rate on a site
like this because a few things need to be taken into account:
1) It was a statue. Some of this is meant to be seen in 3D. 2) It's non-narrative. Even for Lynch, there's no real way to approach it, only "experience it". Which in the case of seeing it in real life, would be vastly interesting, but through the medium of the television it's only slightly so. Think about it like seeing a screensaver picture of the Eiffel Tower instead of being there. You can still appreciate it's magnificence, but you still haven't seen it. 3) It was an experiment. An award winning experiment, but still an experiment.
So for that, it's at least interesting. It honestly makes me want to see the actual set up to get a better idea of what all the various forms helped do for each other (animation, projection, sculpture, painting, etc.). But as a filmed medium, it's just something to sit and watch a while, nod your head in acceptance, and move on.
Still, I'd check it out. The idea behind it is inventive enough that maybe it'll open up more ideas for like experiments or further experiments.
Lynch explains on the DVD that he was inspired to make a moving painting and that is just what he did. As per usual with Lynch, there is no explanation for what is going on (actually, with this short, there doesn't even seem to be a reason for what's going on) but it is somehow beautiful in its repetition.
I remember Lynch was once quoted as saying that he was initially a painter,
but he wanted the paintings to move, just a little bit, & that's what got
him into animation.
This short is a good example of that - it portrays six figures on a wall vomiting, complete with visible internal organs, then catching on fire. The visuals are accompanied by a siren. Originally, the 40 second short was screened on a loop at an exhibition, which ran indefinitely. The DVD of Lynch's short films has it repeated 6 times.
No story, no characters - it really is more like a moving painting than a 'short film', more at home in a gallery as an installation than in a darkened cinema. The crude, but striking, animation style is similar to that which Lynch later used in 'The Alphabet' & 'The Grandmother', although they did include plotlines & characters, bizarre though they were.
Well worth a look, if only to see where this great director's career started.
Stills for this 60 second film are available on the Web, and the film
is shown during the Pretty as a Picture documentary.
The images are quite arresting. Lynch himself said of the project "I always sort of wanted to do films. Not so much a movie-movie as a film-painting. I wanted the mood of the painting to be expanded through film, sort of a moving painting. It was really the mood I was after. I wanted a sound with it that would be so strange, so beautiful, like if the Mona Lisa opened her mouth and turned, and there would be a wind, and then she'd turn back and smile. It would be strange."
By the way, Lynch shared the first-place in the second annual Dr. William S. Biddle Cadwalader Memorial Prize. One of the judges on the panel funded Lynch's next film project, and there it is--the start of a career.
This is the film portion of a sculpture that had images projected on
Its basically abstract people getting sick and throwing up.
As I said its all abstract so the figures are only reasonably human.
The image runs about a minute and then is repeated several times, which was then looped into endless illness.
How do you rate that?
I don't know. Its fine for what it is but as anything beyond that it isn't much.
The repeating of the film 6 times is essential in order to become acquainted with the sequence and give you the opportunity to look in different areas of the screen to catch other cool visuals. I loved this little film, it showcases the twisted, genius mind of Lynch at an early age. This can be found with his other shorts on a new DVD that I just picked up. Its an amazing find if you can get a copy. 9/10
This first film from David Lynch is not really a film at all. It is
better to think of it as a moving painting. Its origins bear this out.
Lynch was working on a picture while studying at the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts when he felt a 'little wind' and wished that the
painting could move. This set him to work on creating an animated
composition which became Six Men Getting Sick.
It consists of a screen with three sculptures built into its top left corner. These three figures are casts of Lynch himself. This screen then has an animation projected onto it. The animation adds a further three figures. It connects the stomachs to the heads. They fill up, hands appear over the distressed heads, the word 'Sick' flashes up and the heads catch fire and vomit. All of this is accompanied by a repetitive siren wail.
Because the image is projected onto a sculpture it's fair to say that this is really a 3D art installation rather than a film. When it was shown at an art competition it was repeated on a continual loop. On DVD this is reduced to six cycles. The repetition does make sense though as it allows you to see different things each time. It certainly indicates what an original artist Lynch was even at this early stage.
David Lynch once said about how he came to start making films.
- "One night I was drawing a garden in my studio, immersed in a thick black night, where green grass seemed to dilute this bottomless darkness, and I sat down beside my picture, began to peer at it, and I heard the wind blowing and My picture was rustled with grass, and then I thought, "Oh,the moving painting!" "
And so he realized that he wants to shoot / draw "moving pictures" called films. And this work, his first work, is so simple, so genius. In its essence, this is the true image of the philosophy with which Lynch still pictures his paintings. This is nothing more than a painting that constantly changes its state, and all this translates into a moving picture.
It is with this thought you need to look at this picture. It is she who will give you a complete idea of the primary thought Lynch shot his greatest works ("Mallholland Dr.", "Eraserhead", "Blue Velvet").
Looking at this disturbing picture, you can experience the same sensations as when looking at pictures of surrealists, such as Salvador Dali. And if you are suddenly not familiar with the works of Lynch at all, then I advise you to understand and feel his view of the cinema precisely from this work, and what undisclosed potential the cinematography possesses, not playing with your intellect, and not even with your eyes, but with your subconscious mind ...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Soon 50 years ago, David Lynch shot his very first short film named "Six Figures Getting Sick". It's as weird as you expect from him, but beyond that there's really nothing watchworthy at all about this little piece. There is no real story or character development and it's basically exactly what the titles says: 4 minutes of animation in which men throw up in all kinds of colors and constitutions. Pretty gross actually and no artistic value at all. The one thing it has in common with some of his later works is that he already used the strong contrast between the B&W-setting and different shades of red and purple. Nonetheless, this may be his worst work to date, but it's kinda excusable as he was still defining his style. His takes on the alphabet and grandmothers from not much later were clearly superior to this one already and I'm glad he did not choose the constant noise of sirens from this one as a recurring theme for his later works. It's really one to watch for Lynch completionists only. Everybody else should give it a pass.
WHEN WE SAW this recently thanx to our good friends at TURNER CLASSIC
MOVIES we were quite surprised: A) That there really was such a film
with such a title, B) That an outfit like TCM actually did televise
such, C) That we watched it and finally D) That we are doing a review.
IN MANY WAYS the very brief tidbit of what can only be referred to as limited (very limited) animation. In some respects it appears to be a sort of intentional throwback to the very earliest animation to be committed to film. In our mind, that means the short (3 + minute) titled HUMOROUS PHASES OF FUNNY FACES (Stuart Bracton/Vitagraph, 1906).
IN SOME AREAS, the cartoon succeeds in doing this as an homage to both the artist, as well as to the art-form as well. It is in the beginnings of animation in this embryonic stage and form that started both artist and producer on the road to the shorts and full length features that we take for granted.
IN SHORT, without HUMOROUS FACES, there'd be no FANTASIA.
ON THE OTHER hand, we get the distinct impression that the cartoonist and the producer really did want to gross out the audience and induce gastro-intestinal maladies. This would seem to be superfluous as we don't learn anything that we don't already know and have all experienced for ourselves.
SO SORRY TO report to Animator/Director/Producer Mr. David Lynch, that no one was edified in the extended display of vomiting, puking, wreching, hurling and heaving; nor by displays of dysentery, diarrhea, the runs or the scutters.
WELL SCHULTZ, DO you think anyone's shocked?
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