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May 14, 2007 11:43 PM   Subscribe

The Cube (1969) , directed by Jim Henson. (Some background)
posted by growabrain (20 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I remember seeing this when I was in high school, and I thought it was outstanding. It was certainly not like anything else I had ever seen.

I didn't know Jim Henson was involved in it. (Of course, at that time I had no idea who Jim Henson was.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:04 AM on May 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

On the Google video page there's a link to the Yahoo group:
This group is designed for people who seek or share information about THE CUBE-- its creation, its cast, the people behind it, and (most importantly!) how to see it today. We started off in 2003 with the barest of knowledge about the show. Now we've finally reached the point of being able to answer many of our questions. We now have a network of copies of THE CUBE floating around the planet. We've even found the star of THE CUBE! Among the resources here, you cam download a reconstructed script in the FILES section and screen cap images from the broadcast in the PHOTOS section. Next up-- If anyone knows how to design a Flash cube, I have an idea for a goofy CUBE screensaver!
posted by Rhomboid at 12:04 AM on May 15, 2007

Brilliant! Thanks growabrain. I had no idea Jim Henson made anything like this. wow. Google Video link to The Cube.
posted by nickyskye at 12:21 AM on May 15, 2007

lovely. it's like an extended, claustrophobic episode of the prisoner.

Holy crap. A prisoner remake is on the way with Chris Nolan to direct. Sweet.
posted by juv3nal at 1:30 AM on May 15, 2007

Thanks for this.
posted by retronic at 1:38 AM on May 15, 2007

if you enjoyed this, you're sure to enjoy Gleaming the Cube (1987). Slater-ific!
posted by Hat Maui at 2:12 AM on May 15, 2007

Wow. I saw this years ago, and never remembered the title or anything. Always figured it was an obscure Twilight Zone or something like that. I love where the janitor repairs the hole.
posted by Goofyy at 3:21 AM on May 15, 2007

Awesome, thank you! I also saw this in high school, and it made a pretty substantial impact on my impressionable little mind... I've been sporadically trying to track down a copy ever since, and was astonished that there was nary a copy (or discussion!) of it to be found on the Net.
posted by Mayor West at 5:56 AM on May 15, 2007

I saw The Cube years ago, but I've never heard of the "NBC Experiment in Television". Did NBC have a regular weekly program where they ran things like this?

If any network drones are reading, you might want to try such a program again. A lot of us might start watching TV again.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:32 AM on May 15, 2007

It's still downloading for me, so I haven't seen it yet. But from the look and description of the set and the nature of the film, it looks like it was an influence on Cube (1997).
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:49 AM on May 15, 2007

Great find! I read about this, and have wanted to see it ever since.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:01 AM on May 15, 2007

I could swear this was mentioned on mefi before, but for the life of me I can't find where. My Google Fu is weak.
posted by marble at 8:07 AM on May 15, 2007

Staring at an even number, wonderin' if it's prime.
posted by Riemann at 9:24 AM on May 15, 2007

The ending of The Cube really left a deep dent on my mind. I think of it whenever I see strawberry jam.

Jim also did another show for Experiment in Television called Youth '68. My understanding is that the idea sprang from the concept of doing an expanded version of Time Piece, his short film (which is also really terrific). There are definitely elements in it that come off as somebody being really excited about using some new optical effects and techniques, but overall it really works effectively as a sort of collage, and I found it fascinating all the way through.

This period in Jim's career is the most interesting in some ways, as he was pursuing some really inventive projects and was free to pursue any stylistic ideas he came up with. There doesn't seem to be much information online about Cyclia, the proposed nightclub that would combine architecture and design with projected video footage to create a weird dreamscape type environment. I know some footage was shot for it, and there are some cool, wild design sketches for it but it didn't end up happening. Even the counting films in Sesame Street that Jim did were really neat, featuring different animation styles and some creative combinations of image and music.

And I completely agree, somebody ought to put on something like Experiment in Television.
posted by Nathaniel W at 11:09 AM on May 15, 2007

I had never heard of this before... my first impression was that it was very much like The Prisoner, but at a much faster pace and with fewer druggings.

It was good... much good it was
posted by MildlyDisturbed at 12:15 PM on May 15, 2007

That was incredibly awesome. Thanks!
posted by Sibrax at 7:36 PM on May 15, 2007

I like the scene where the guy is diced by a fine, metal grating.
posted by Eideteker at 7:50 PM on May 15, 2007

Much good indeed.

As I was watching, Guantanamo came to mind. Isolation, surrealist attacks on personal dignity, "you'll never get out." At least cube-man got all the chocolate and strawberry jam he could eat.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2007

I'd love to see a remake of this. Perhaps even a tongue-in-cheek series. When one looks at the plotline of Lost over the past three seasons, there are similarities. Then again, there's also some similarities between The Cube and the classic morality play Everyman, just less religious-minded.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:47 AM on May 17, 2007

I wonder who would own the rights to this now? I mean, if someone were to do a remake of this today, with improved effects and a new generation of talent, but essentially holding true to the original teleplay (provided doing this would bring about profit and I doubt it would), who'd get the royalties? Henson & Associates? NBC? Some other entity? Or is it in the public domain? I hate the legalities of stuff like this, because it makes it more complicated than it needs to be. Shame someone can't just make a box in their garage and produce their own remake with enthused friends and neighbors then just post it to youtube... (hint hint!)
posted by ZachsMind at 11:29 AM on May 17, 2007

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