ARTS & CULTURE
09/29/2011 04:10 pm ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

Before The Muppets: Jim Henson's Surrealist '60s Short Film (VIDEO)

Do you ever get the feeling that the whole world is moving to your rhythm, be it the song that's on your radio or the pulse of your heartbeat? In Jim Henson's 1965 surrealist short 'Time Piece,' sound, which so often follows the image, is given a chance to lead. And no, there are no Muppets to be found.

The small sounds we hear daily--the crunch of celery, the pop of a button, the plop of congealed canned soup into a pot--are all treated like newly-discovered musical instruments. The sounds begin reveling in the everyday and progress to the bizarre, like what it would sound like to paint an elephant purple.

The film explores the madness inherent in the banal. A particularly odd scene intertwines a nightclub striptease with a dancing chicken and a puppet skeleton. Henson shows that strange sights and sounds are as unavoidable as the ticking of the clock.

After seeing 'The Dark Crystal' and 'Labyrinth,' it is no surprise that Jim Henson knew how to get weird. We just never knew he could be so aesthetically discerning.

Time Piece

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