Now we will see what a perfect post looks like. And what it can do.
November 2, 2008 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Needs more gay cowboys eating pudding.
posted by Nelson at 12:52 PM on November 2, 2008

posted by Caduceus at 12:56 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by desjardins at 1:00 PM on November 2, 2008

Couldn't make it past the putting away of the pipe.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 1:04 PM on November 2, 2008

The guy dancing around 4:50 slays me.
posted by peggynature at 1:06 PM on November 2, 2008

This was wonderful, cheers. Its hypnotic and unsettling and also strangely moving
posted by dng at 1:06 PM on November 2, 2008

It was nice to see that again.
posted by Casuistry at 1:07 PM on November 2, 2008

cf. The Five Obstructions in which Lars Von Trier has Jorgen Leth remake this film 5 times, based on rules Von Trier has devised. It looks like the remakes can be found on youtube, here.
posted by jrb223 at 1:13 PM on November 2, 2008

ah, and now I see the Von Trier reference in the tags...
posted by jrb223 at 1:14 PM on November 2, 2008

A perfect human smokes? And wears paper dresses and go-go boots? Oh, the sixties. Never change.

The woman looks like a framed picture on a dresser of someone's mother when she was young and beautiful, the kind that catch your eye and surprise you in a home.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'm gonna need you to make this post five more times under a variety of constr—

oh, dammit.
posted by cortex at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2008

Obstructions: 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by Dumsnill at 1:18 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is very frustrating to watch.
posted by lostburner at 1:34 PM on November 2, 2008

I don't see how this is notable. I think a post linking to a Spongebob video would have equal merit.
posted by prunes at 1:46 PM on November 2, 2008

I don't see how this is notable.

You will probably understand in a few days.
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:02 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I hope to understand it in a few days.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:03 PM on November 2, 2008

That is the longest ad for IKEA I have ever watched.
posted by steef at 2:08 PM on November 2, 2008 [7 favorites]

A friend asked a gentleman how it is that he never married?

Replied the gentleman, "Well, I guess I just never met the right woman ... I guess I've been looking for the perfect girl."

"Oh, come on now," said the friend, "Surely you have met at least one girl that you wanted to marry."

"Yes, there was one girl ... once. I guess she was the one perfect girl.

The only perfect girl I really ever met. She was just the right everything ... I really mean that she was the perfect girl for me."

"Well, why didn't you marry her," asked the friend.

"She was looking for the perfect man." he said.
posted by netbros at 2:10 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

That felt good! Tasty!!!!!
posted by fcummins at 2:33 PM on November 2, 2008

A really pretty girl. I suppose she'd be in her sixties, now. If she's still alive. Smoking, and all.
posted by Faze at 2:44 PM on November 2, 2008

I like how the equal parts of my brain which were soothed and disturbed by that don't overlap at all.
posted by kaspen at 3:01 PM on November 2, 2008

This is a comment.
This is a comment.
A few words.
They are perfect words.
The perfect words are written, just like that.
We watch the words. What are they like?
The perfect words are just like this.
They are in English, and they are written on a screen.
Will there be sex? We do not describe a naked woman, only make a passing reference to her.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:05 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

The perfect human.
The perfect human rubs his pipe across his nose.
The perfect human wears silver go-go boots.
The perfect exposure setting oversaturates the film
The perfect human falls, rather than tumbling the way sensei instructed.
The perfect narrator sounds disturbingly like R.D.Laing.
Look at the perfect human.
Look at the perfect human.
Look at him.
Look at him!
The perfect human is now on Social Security.
posted by ardgedee at 3:08 PM on November 2, 2008

Beautiful film, I'd never seen it before. Thanks for posting this!
posted by smitt at 3:13 PM on November 2, 2008

Ah, so THIS is what every single hacky joke about "art films" is based on.
posted by tristeza at 3:20 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't see how this is notable.

You might remember this in a year when you have completely forgotten the sitcom or crime show you are watching tonight.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:26 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Does this have something to do with that white privilege LOL Cats invisible knapsack thing?
posted by Rafaelloello at 3:42 PM on November 2, 2008

me likey.

I have a special fondness for creepy films that parrot "social hygiene" genres from the 50s and 60s. I think I like what happens to normalcy when it's repeated so much it becomes senseless and absurd.

Also, there was a fish.

My only quibble:
The woman was quite attractive. The man, less so. Not unattractive, but simply not as hot as the woman. I cry sexism.

Banal observation.
Banal observation again.
Surprisingly specific yet banal observation.
Musing about the obvious.
[repeat as necessary]
posted by LMGM at 3:47 PM on November 2, 2008

Takes me right back to Intro to Film class - this was the first film we watched. At first it was incomprehensible; now I just like it for what it is. Plus, I can't help thinking, "Listen to the human living" whenever I cut my fingernails now.
posted by andeles at 3:51 PM on November 2, 2008

its very condescending to talk down to someone because they dont like what you do, i didnt enjoy this, not because it went over my head, i just thought it was shit
posted by chelegonian at 3:55 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hey, she's a perfect emo human.
posted by Rafaelloello at 4:17 PM on November 2, 2008

I've always contended that my lovemaking technique--frantic kisses followed seconds later by convulsions and tears--was art, and now here's my proof.
posted by maxwelton at 4:23 PM on November 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

Von Trier's film should be a prerequisite for viewing these links/this post. Ironic parody is a losing proposition without proper context.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:56 PM on November 2, 2008

Someone please tell Afroblanco why this is great.

He doesn't mean that in a sniping, cynical way.

He means it in a genuinely curious way.

A genuinely curious way.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:57 PM on November 2, 2008

[Afroblanco - Imagine you're a film student in 1967. Imagine smoking a joint and watching it with a skinny girl from a nearby art college. Imagine snapping your fingers afterward and then brushing ashes off of her black jumper. Imagine going for a coffee.

Are you seeing the great part yet?
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

posted by chuckdarwin at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2008

And it just goes on like that till it's over.
posted by nola at 5:42 PM on November 2, 2008

the perfect human is Northern European then?
posted by dawson at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2008

Someone please tell me why this is great.'re not looking at him all the time enough.....
posted by mannequito at 6:16 PM on November 2, 2008

i can't wait for the hollywood remake with explosions and dwayne johnson!! (with extra !!!!!!!!)
posted by eatdonuts at 6:44 PM on November 2, 2008

The voiceover feels like an ESL recording.
posted by Memo at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2008

Very nice. The guy dancing reminded me of Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation when the kid puts on the groovy record and begins to dance by himself. I wonder if it was an homage to this.

I like the string music, too.
posted by Skygazer at 7:03 PM on November 2, 2008

He ain't no Wim Wenders.
posted by docpops at 7:03 PM on November 2, 2008

I love how it just *hovers* on the edge of making sense. It is perfect.
posted by The Whelk at 7:25 PM on November 2, 2008

posted by dirty lies at 9:08 PM on November 2, 2008

liquorice: It is for this reason (and not I swear because I am a mess right now) that I felt like this was a love story, and a very sad one.

Thanks for posting, very good stuff.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:10 PM on November 2, 2008

Ah, I love this little film.

I think one of the reasons it is genius is the way it renders voyeurism absurd in one hand, and existentially meaningful in the other, a commentary on the nature of cinema (as pfff ALL experimental films are, pretty much). Why is it we so love to watch staged reality, and why in the world, do we put such credence in it, and investigate it so curiously?

Self-reflexivity and the search for meaning is a theme that connects cinema (read: moving pictures, digital media, whatever and ever amen, esPECially "documentary," those bloody positivists) and human psychology. Or maybe I'm just drunk on LacanAid.

And babies, let me tell you this thing's a thrill-a-minute next to Wavelength or Blowjob, so don't harsh too hard on this particular entry in the wonderful canon of 1960's experimental films.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:40 PM on November 2, 2008

Niiice. I hadn't seen that in years. Gahd, I love the internet!
I wish more men still dressed like that. Classay.
posted by heyho at 10:16 PM on November 2, 2008

Thanks Ambrosia Voyeur for that nice explanation, the sad thing is if I had watched that film in college I bet it would have been mesmerizing and Significant and now I just notice that he holds the clippers upside down and why did he serve her the tail end of the fish for god's sake? Age.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:16 PM on November 2, 2008

Why do film makers make films like this? Because women like them when they make films like this.

In college on can get laid by renting films like this.
posted by dirty lies at 12:35 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

In college on can get laid by renting films like this.
posted by dirty lies at 12:35 AM on November 3 [+] [!]


posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:51 AM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]

See the perfect human.
See the perfect human talk with his mouth full.
Look at him. Look at the food in his mouth.
Listen to the sounds he makes as he chews.
Listen to his lips smack as he chews.
Now he is drinking. Look at him drink. Listen to him slurp as he drinks.

Yep. That's my little room in Hell, right there.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:50 AM on November 3, 2008

I would suggest that one way, and I emphasize that it is but one of many, to read the film is to see it as an inner monologue, a mental reworking of the crucial moments in a failed relationship. The "perfect human" could be seen then as the man's apprehension of himself as he approached the relationship, or was initiating it. He imagines or remembers himself confident and secure, a lady's man perhaps, he is at his best, perfect as it were. He believes he became part of a perfect relationship, so perfect that they share the designator of the perfect human they behave as one, the narrator talks of them as if they are one the undressing isn't two people undressing, it is one person, the perfect person undressing. But there is also the beginning of a fracture he falls, she lies down, she rubs his leg with hers but then is turned away from him, after making love? before? during, perhaps he was unable to pleasure her? whichever way he has to awkwardly stretch his body over hers in what looks like an attempt to sway or entice her into re-engaging with him, but it seems to fail and he curls up in her arm.

The visual, the minds eye perhaps, is showing us things that the narrator isn't mentioning, the story of this possible romance is different than the actuality perhaps? Or perhaps it is too painful for words, perhaps that is why the narrator repeats himself and focuses on more reassuring aspects of the perfect human. The distant semi-anthropological approach of the narrator them might be protective, or a cataloging of things that should have been, seeking in facts reasons that are not available to descriptions of physicality. The emotions are not accessible to the narrator, the inner narrator, the man, and he must search for the reason the perfect human that was the two of them as one is now he alone at a table trying to come to terms with what is gone. The perfect human then, in the end, is, perhaps, a bitter reproach or an ironic comment on his remembrance.

The film then duplicates that internal experience in some ways, the viewers watch at a distance without emotional investment other than some amusement and confusion as to what is going on. We only have these two people and a somewhat redundant and repetitive narrator to guide us. What we see and what we hear are subtly at odds or slightly askew, to aver this is the perfect human while seeing the woman putting on make-up is suggesting that perfection requires improvement, which doesn't make sense so there must be something amiss, the description of the perfect human undressing is out of sync with the visuals and is conflating two different outfits of clothing which suggests that perhaps the narrator is not paying attention or is focused on a different aspect of the events At some point we must ask ourselves are there two perfect humans? Are these events, some with the man and others with the woman happening at different times and the narrator is conflating them? We hear him referring over and over to the perfect human, so it doesn't seem likely that he means both of them, the man was shown first, so maybe the narrator is only referring to him? But no, now the perfect human is taking off a bra or is described as feeling a leg and we see the woman doing this so it she must be the perfect human...too? The viewer runs the words and visuals over each other and becomes, hopefully, drawn into the situation, thinks about it more intensely than would be the case if it were a normal narrative of two people in a relationship perhaps, which is what the man, if one takes uses this theory, is doing, we invest in the experience of thinking over the interactions, the relationship of this couple, presumably, even after we stop watching, which is what people do when a relationship has ended unexpectedly replay the events over and over until they understand what happened.

Anyway, that's one take on the film after watching it a couple of times, undoubtedly there are others to be had of equal merit. That is, after all, the best measure of art, the really good stuff can be revisited many times and provide many different and and powerful interpretations.
Thanks for the posting and sorry for the long windedness. I just hope this makes some sense.
posted by mr.grum at 2:51 AM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]

Anyone else notice it's similarity to the Monty Python "This is a knee" segments? I liked both how it hovers on the edge of meaning and how it hovers on the edge of comedy and pathos. The effect of the two is very destabilizing and engrossing.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on November 3, 2008

Now I go and do my evening duties; sitting, watching tv, cooking, washing clothes and occassionally mumble: "Look at the perfect human. Look at him.. now. Look at the perfect human."

I get it now.
posted by Free word order! at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2008

That was awesome!

Two more ways of interpreting the film. You are commander of an intergalactic fleet of star-faring colonial polar bears. Finally, you're making your approach to a smallish, spiral galaxy when a bright Lieutenant forward-observer docks with the ship to present his highly scientific finding regarding the only sentient race in this particular region of space. What you don't know is that he has completely procrastinated, done a wretched job, never wanted to be a science officer in the first place and originally trained to be a lifeguard. He only managed to capture two of these creatures, which he then locked in a smallish, empty room. After the female died he discovered that they require food to survive, so he gave the male a fish and some roots. The male, however, at this point had gone mad and jabbered on with his mouth full until stabbing himself in the face repeatedly with his salmon-fork until dead. In his last-minute haste, your science officer randomly edited together footage of his "incalculably immense" library of research to show you only the model form of the species in its native environment. Thus the images you have before you today.

Or possibly, this is what dogs see.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:20 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

This is a netizen. This is a netizen poking his eyeballs with needles. This is a netizen. This netizen continues to poke his eyeballs with needles. This is the netizen pressing Ctrl + F4. The netizen no longer needs the needles.
posted by Chuffy at 5:16 PM on November 3, 2008

This is like the voiceover of the best LSD trip possible except I am waiting for Meat Beat Manifesto to sample it for a dub record.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:40 PM on November 3, 2008

Or possibly, this is what dogs see.

Well, yeah, I just didn't want to state the obvious;)
posted by mr.grum at 1:24 AM on November 4, 2008

« Older Fixing the world on $2/day   |   The Music is the Message Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments