This remarkable short film from Peter Fischli and David Weiss, usually translated as The Way Things Go would seem to me a classic example of a work you need to see to get it, the piece really defies description. Though Arthur Danto does pretty well… It’s a real-world application of Rube Goldberg effects, the kind of stuff that makes my son howl with laughter in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure or the Wallace and Gromit films. As you watch the mechanism unfold, it seems ready to fall apart at any moment, the whole process is a marvel of precarious dramatic tension…
A short clip is up on YouTube:
But if you move now, you can see the entire film in wondrous DivX quality. Thanks again to Andy Rush for opening my eyes to this amazing online video format.
What I like most about this is that unlike similar films (have you seen the Toyota advert, with what we Brits call a Heath Robinson machine constructed solely out of car parts?) is that the reactions are chemical as well as simply physical.
[captcha: leaders never]
Jon – I blogged a Honda ad back in the day. Too bad, the link I provided is now dead:
And great point about the chemical thing! I was watching this with my five year old, he was absolutely enraptured, and wanted to know how we could do the same thing. “Well,” I replied, “first you gotta be a whacked-out artist. Who knows a lot of physics… and chemistry too. And I suppose you gotta be good with tools. Yeah, that’s it, you gotta be an arty film geek who does well in the science and shop classes…”
And Heath Robinson is new to me, thanks so much! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_Robinson
Honda, Toyota… ya see, just goes to show that these ads don’t actually work!