Leital Molad, Senior Producer, Studio 360
Senior Producer Leital Molad has been with Studio 360 since it was hatching as a pilot in early 2000, and helped bring it to the airwaves with the launch team in 2001. In her decade ...
Last night, I joined hundreds of nostalgic 30-somethings at a 30th anniversary screening of The Muppet Movie in Brooklyn. Seeing it on the big screen was pure delight, and proved the lasting genius of Jim Henson and co. Everything holds up: the snappy dialogue (Man in Swamp: 'You, you with the banjo, can you help me? I seem to have lost my sense of direction!' Kermit: 'Have you tried Hare Krishna?'); the irresistible soundtrack (the Electric Mayhem jams are the best); the hilarious cameos (Mel Brooks as Dr. Mengele-like mad scientist); and, of course, the unforgettable Muppets themselves (witness Miss Piggy transform from precious damsel-in-distress to gangster-ass-kicker, with her unmistakable battle cry: 'HEEEE-YAH!').
But all that I expected (I do, after all, own the DVD). The real surprise of the evening was the short film that opened the screening: Jim Henson's 'Time Piece' from 1965. There are no Muppets in this one - it's a surrealist experimental film, in a similar vein as Bunuel and Dali's Un Chien Andalou, but much less creepy. It follows an everyman (Henson) through life's major cycles - work, love, war, death - with a jazzy, percussive, nearly dialogue-free soundtrack. It's thought-provoking, but also funny. Watch a low-res version here, or, if you want a copy for yourself, the movie is now available on iTunes.
*there is a slightly cleaner version at this site