Six Men Getting Sick (1966) Poster

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Interesting, andddd... interesting...
Polaris_DiB10 February 2006
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.

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Hate to watch people getting sick but liked this
jbels28 January 2003
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.
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A moving painting
Michael_Cronin12 December 2003
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.
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Strong images
maxs30 October 2001
Stills for this 60 second film are available on the Web, and the film itself 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.
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Very interesting
enmussak23 December 2002
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
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Impossible to rate correctly
dbborroughs26 September 2004
This is the film portion of a sculpture that had images projected on it.

Its basically abstract people getting sick and throwing up.

Sort of.

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.
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David Lynch's first feature is a moving painting
Red-Barracuda16 December 2011
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.
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A devilish machine
simomusicmaster20 August 2005
This short film has lots of implicit messages hidden in a rough and simple animation. The title for itself, "Six men getting sick (six times)" contains, quite deliberately, the Devil's mark 666, and the never ending, irritating siren howling, is maybe a not secondary aspect of the evil invention created by the young Lynch. The idea of figures vomiting, of represent them with their stomach getting full and exploding is not a simple one. It comes from the inner consciousness of the author, pouring out as the vomit on the audience, and giving it a strong feeling (weirdness, fear, repugnance, it does not matter: the aim of Lynch is rousing people from indolence). So, I think this one is the first step of the career of a great director, even a jump, for it creates tension and dizziness with a poor budget, a simple animation and a recognizable genius.
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The Life of Plaster...
colonel-511 November 1998
So nine people have seen this film?

Seeing as the film was essentially a temporary piece of installation art, a loop of film projected onto a sculpture as part of an exhibition back in 1966, I have a very genuine interest in talking to those people - they must have some interesting stories to tell.
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Let's throw some junk together and call it art!
TOMNEL12 December 2008
Director David Lynch has creativity running from every orifice of his body, but this, his first short film, is just bizarre, pointless and dumb. It's one of those concept ideas, where people are supposed to say, "My goodness! How genius!" but instead it's just dumb. It gives what it promises, nothing more, maybe less.

Ugly animation of six men puking is multiplied by six to make this truly ugly little short. Meanwhile, to go along with our repetitive picture, we have some ugly music playing. A total of 36 animated puking men, with constant deja vu's.

This is just an uninteresting mess. I can't imagine people actually sitting through the entire thing to enjoy it time after time, unlike some short films. This one has no substance, and no redeeming qualities, and it's quite hideous to look at. It's as though someone were to rub feces on a mantle and hang it in an art gallery. It's disgusting looking and smelling, but after turning away once in disgust, you have to look at it five more times.

It's good to see David Lynch's film-making improved greatly since this short. This must've been his stance trying to become the Salvidore Dali of short film making, but alas, he didn't quite make the cut.

My rating: BOMB out of ****. 4 mins.
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Very weak start to a big career
Horst_In_Translation5 October 2013
Warning: 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.
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"Oh,the moving painting!"
NePerfectionist11 July 2017
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 ...
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tedg23 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

There's no question that Lynch is one of the most interesting film artists today. This is because he knows how to fold the seemingly perverse with dreamlike shifts and rhythms while at the same time weaving a reflexive annotation on the fact that he is being reflexive.

You can see all of that even in this early project. There's no special insight here, just confirmation.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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Make it 7
redryan6415 May 2016
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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Interesting to see if you are a fan of David Lynch but otherwise no
bob the moo12 January 2014
I heard of this short film recently as it being David Lynch's first and it interested me enough to find it. The first thing to say is that it is not really a film but an art installation based on animated paintings of, well, precisely what the title says. The soundtrack is a constant siren wail and the animation loops endlessly while the figures have their stomachs filled with the sense of nausea and then vomit down the screen.

In terms of content it is really offputting and once I'd seen a few loops of it I had really seen as much as I wanted to. I guess for fans of David Lynch then it will be important to see this as part of checking out as much of his work as possible but for the majority of us it will just confirm that Lynch always had an eye and a preference for the odd and the disturbing.
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Six Figures Getting Sick is pure David Lynch territory
tavm12 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw Six Figures Getting Sick-David Lynch's first foray into film-on YouTube when I typed David Lynch. The title is basically the short's description as repetitiously we see six heads vomiting red into their hearts while the word "sick" flashes on the screen. Then a different image of the same thing happens and all this is repeated a total of six times to a constant wailing siren. Interesting at first, it all does get a little..."repetitious". Still, if you're used to the weirdness that comes with the territory of David Lynch, you should feel right at home at this experimental short of the director's early years. Everyone else, you've been warned.
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interesting as a repetition work, though far from Lynch's best short film
MisterWhiplash4 June 2006
Probably the best, or most engrossed, I found myself in David Lynch's first short film effort- animated of course- was that in his use of repetition there were more chances to spot things not seen the previous time. This is really in some ways rather disgusting in its own abstracted art-school sense, but it grew on me the more times I saw these 'six figures' going through their digestive problems. There's a mix of colors used in an animated style that I haven't seen much since I was younger (it was done here and there on these kids videos I watched, the lower rent ones, heh). The alarm sound that blares, what Lynch himself described as the 'sound' attributed to the moving painting he tried to recreate, is my least favorite part of the short. I almost wished Lynch had gone the Brakhage route, leaving just the images to speak for themselves. What I did really find interesting though on a purely film-student level however was how I liked it the more times it repeated itself, trying to get the viewer to see into what is being done with the ink marks and various blotches of ideas in forms of smoke and vomit. Nothing too outrageous or speaking of the future genius he'd show, but it would've been something I'd given high marks for if I was judging whatever contest he originally submitted this to forty years ago- it definitely carries that appeal.
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A Piece of Art
Scars_Remain11 August 2008
I really enjoyed this for what it was, a piece of art. Now I usually like a story along with that but I felt as though this film didn't need it. It was very repetitive but it was interesting to see and think of how Lynch put it all together. I would say that this is far from one of his best but I still had a great time watching it. I feel as though this film is necessary for Lynch fans to see because it captures his tone and feeling very well. I loved most of his work and I really liked this as well. Apparently this is his first film and if that's true, I am very impressed and I hope to someday make something as good. Check this one out and enjoy some Lynch magic!
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2 Lynch Shorts
Michael_Elliott26 February 2008
Six Men Getting Sick (1966)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

David Lynch's first film is an animated short running four minutes that shows exactly what the title says. The animation is ugly, the soundtrack annoying but these two things are what makes the film work. The film is rather surreal in a weird sort of way but this fits the director just fine.

Alphabet, The (1968)

*** (out of 4)

David Lynch's second film is a four-minute short of a nightmare with a woman in bed saying the alphabet. This is an extremely weird short but at the same time it's perfectly surreal and just downright strange. The bizarre images of the woman spitting up blood are eerie to say the least. This certainly isn't a film to show you kids to each them to say their ABC's.
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Awkward and oddly uncomfortable...kind of interesting, In a cookie dough sort of way.
SignorPorcino9 January 2010
As in most of Lynch's films, the viewer can't really tell what's truly going on, and interpretation is left up to him.

However, for me, this felt basically pointless, if not for the object of artistic experimentation within animation. The repetitious aspect of the film, short as it is, is what most bugged me. I felt as if I was sitting across from an awkward man-child who was trying to stuff crackers through his nostrils, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, or something strange, staring at me with huge eyes, as if he expected me to react in some way. Awkward and uncomfortable. Then again, this does almost have a certain level of interest. What exactly tickled my curiosity I don't quite know.

Anyhow, its worth a look if you enjoy Lynch's work and presume to understand it, which probably no one entirely does. Still interesting to see what his early work was like.
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Trippy, yet Timeless
TripVictim16 April 2002
Lynch made this little piece as an art student in Philadelphia. It cost him $200 and it won him first prize in an experimental art contest. The first film on his Short Films DVD, available on his website, It's interesting enough to watch on DVD, but must have been even more mind blowing, live in Philly, in the late 60's.
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