Humans make for lame Rube Goldberg machines
November 9, 2011 4:28 AM   Subscribe

Like a children's book for adults. Blok [slyt] a 1982 short by Polish Director Hieronim Neumann.
posted by quoquo (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It can't really be one continuous shot (can it?) but it's a cool effect.
posted by Jode at 5:30 AM on November 9, 2011

That's fantastic. It may not be one continuous shot, but I have no idea how they did it otherwise. That's why it's so magical. Wow.
posted by koeselitz at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2011

Really great. Unique never seen anything like it.
posted by stbalbach at 9:28 AM on November 9, 2011

Could not stop watching. The vignettes pass so quickly...but...but...but...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:31 AM on November 9, 2011

Great! The everything/nothing happening vibe reminds me of Playtime.
posted by Conductor71 at 10:14 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most of the rooms are separate takes. When panning down they are just stitching two images together - if you pause during the transitions, you might notice that the seam isn't even all that smooth. In the very opening scene, you can see that each room has a little different lighting and film-jitter.

Which is really the only way they could do it - there's walls in the way for the camera to go through otherwise!

Given that, this was probably pretty cheap to film - they probably only made one or two sets.

Very clever, and very effective. There's a story, or a bunch of stories, but they're somewhat understated. It makes me wonder whether it would be possible to make something like this into a longer movie, showing more complex interactions as deeper relationships slowing emerge. I could see that winding up totally awesome or totally terrible. Or lots of both.
posted by aubilenon at 10:45 AM on November 9, 2011

This is a fun piece. Looks like an experiment in early match-moving and motion control.

To my eye, it's pretty easy to see how this was done. The seams of the various shots really jump out at you if you're looking, but the filmmaker did a great job at camouflaging them. Each "room" is the same set, just with different paint and furniture. However I'm blown away that this was done pre-digitally in 1982 and that it looks as good as it does. It's very much like something Michel Gondry would have attempted.
posted by bstreep at 3:49 PM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

With the way the clotheslines and picture on the wall iwggled, I think they were rotating the entire room. My first thought would be keep the room still and move the camera, but I'm sure they had their reasons to do it the other way around.
posted by RobotHero at 7:17 PM on November 9, 2011

If you have a good sense of spatial relations, parts of this will immediately jump out as "wrong" to you. For example: the room that the furniture movers deliver the armoire into is incomprehensibly in the very same location as the (completely different looking!) room where the thief just escaped through the window.

I suspect that these inconsistencies are intentional, as a way of emphasizing that the film is a visual allegory for the absurdist experience of living in the Eastern Bloc.

Unfortunately, however, they also make me think of the shifting spaces in the (much less interesting!) movie Cube. But that's the detriment of hindsight, I guess.
posted by arm's-length at 12:26 PM on November 10, 2011

That was fun.
posted by OmieWise at 3:05 PM on November 10, 2011

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