The Conscious Clock: Perspectives on Time and Reality - Sat. Mar 10 - 8pm

Oddball Films and guest curator Joe Garrity present The Conscious Clock: Perspectives on Time and Reality, a program of rare and unique short films exploring the temporal dimensions of the outer and inner worlds. From objective measurement to subjective experience of change, we examine the illusory nature of time and its impression on our lives. The program includes The Story of Time (1949), a dazzling stop-motion short from the Rolex watch company, and Leisure (1976), Bruce Petty’s Oscar-winning animated history of time spent at play. Natural rhythm is explored in What Time Is Your Body? (1973), a fascinating study of biological clockwork using human isolation experiments, as well as in Maya Deren’s avant-garde ballet, Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946). Also, in Time Piece (1965), master puppeteer Jim H*nson crafts a zany self-portrait of a man in crisis. Finally, we close with Chris Marker’s seminal short film La Jetée (1962), a mind-bending reflection on time, memory, and man at the end of it all. It’s time to mind what makes you tick!

Date: Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


The Story of Time (Technicolor, 1949)
In 1949, the watch manufacturer Rolex released this Technicolor wonder of animation, stop-motion, and miniature sets, achieving far more than a simple plug of their product. From the dawn of man to the modern machine, we glide through striking images with expert ease. Exquisite like their wares, Rolex’s dazzling tribute to man’s pursuit of time is sure to impress.

What Time is Your Body? (Color, 1973)
In this fascinating BBC Time Life film, scientists look to the natural world to explore time without clocks. Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany conduct studies of circadian rhythm on human subjects kept in unchanging cells for months on end, and deliver some surprising results. Insights on biological timekeeping will make you wonder about your own inner clock. 

Leisure (Color, 1976)
“Satisfaction should be the measure of success.” Australian cartoonist Bruce Petty won an Academy Award for this unconventional, animated treatise on work and play. In a barrage of cartoons, photographs, and collage, Petty calls out for the lost art of leisure with a pulsating ride through history like we’ve never seen it before. Leisure or labor, the decision is ours.

Ritual in Transfigured Time (B&W, 1946)
From Maya Deren, pioneering female director of the avante-garde classic Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), come this striking experimental film that has as much to do with choreography in front of the camera as it does behind it. Through stuttering freeze frames, time reversals, and shifting camera speeds, Deren draws dance from all things. An elegant, intriguing film by an early female visionary in art cinema.

Time Piece (Color, 1965)
This Oscar-nominated live-action short from M*ppets creator Jim H*nson is a rare treat, perhaps just for adults. Starring the young H*nson himself, a hospitalized man is sent through the ringer in this absurd commentary on modernity lost to money, sex, food, industry, and most of all, time. Drawing on his prowess as puppeteer, H*nson crafts this surreal, racy, quick-cutting gem.

La Jetée (B&W, 1962)
Chris Marker’s legendary short film on time travel, post-apocalyptic Paris, and the meaning of memory seems to have it all despite having almost no moving images. Composed mostly of still photography and ominous narration, the film tells the story of a man whose mind is scoured by mad scientists for a psychic link to the world before its end. This stunning work is truly a must-see.

Curator’s Biography:
Joe Garrity is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has studied film at NYU Tisch and La Universidad de Chile in Santiago.  An aspiring writer and filmmaker, he has worked with the Pacific Film Archive, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and the Telluride Film Festival.