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The Eagleman Stag [Short Film]

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by THOaken, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. THOaken

    THOaken Native

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    I just finished watching this short film by Michael Please. I'm now utterly fascinated by this. The ending is somewhat cryptic and I'm trying to find answers to it, but I highly recommend this. It's actually somewhat relevant to Bushcraft as the protagonist is a nature enthusiast. The film's subject deals with our perception of time as we grow older. It's very profound and has a unique art style.

    "Animated through stop-motion, the film incorporates thousands of hand-created models across 115 sets to tell the story of Peter Eagleman. From a young age, Peter possessed a peculiar awareness of time. Obsessed with the concept that any unit of time represents a differing fraction of one’s life depending on age, he becomes preoccupied with this “SPEEDING UP” of time as he grows older, and longs to reverse the process. In the meantime Peter grows, lives, ages. He becomes a celebrated entomologist, and through his work he stunningly stumbles upon a possible solution to his lifetime’s angst."

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

    [video=youtube;w5K2HUg11sQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5K2HUg11sQ[/video]
     
  2. Harvestman

    Harvestman Bushcrafter through and through

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    Well, that was interesting, and a bit different. I didn't really get it, but I watched it through.
     
  3. Niels

    Niels Full Member

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    Same here not sure what I was supposed to get out of it.
     
  4. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

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    Thanks for posting that THOaken, what came to mind first was a story I think you'd enjoy. From 2000AD Future Shocks of all places, by Alan Moore. Struck me at the time and stayed with me ever since (from the midish 80's?) A man dedicated his life to building a time machine, wastes it away. In the end it doesn't work, his wife has left him due to his dedication to his cause and his life is wasted. He throws himself from a bridge in despair, only to find his time machine as his life passes before his eyes as he drowns, eventually back to his first memory of his favorite teddy as a baby. Sounds daft to some that a comic could be so affecting in ones life, but that story was. And the animation you showed wasn't too far off either. Remember having the discussion with the surgeon this year about my hip replacement. He said it would last about 20 years, and we were both very matter of fact about the fact that it would see me out! (Without replacement). I've lived two thirds of my life and have a third to go, twenty years, a score, from the supposed "four score years and ten". My male family have been sold short! I don't worry about it though, came to term with death a long time ago. But the perception of time and achievement in the film you posted is wonderful. I think we'll all have different takes on it. Visually its lovely and inventive, but what it says is a lot more - but due to individual perspective difficult to put down in words for others.
    Thank you for posting, I think I know why it caught your eye and you posted, but that's my viewpoint.
    Thanks, GB.
     
  5. THOaken

    THOaken Native

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    Interesting if somewhat elusive, isn't it? Harvestman and Niels, I think one is supposed to take from it more questions than answers. Concerning the time element of the story, I think it relates to us all, as we all can relate to the feeling of our childhood feeling like it lasted an eternity, the "awe of infancy".

    My take on the story (a dissection of the story from my perspective, so it may be wrong in some areas):
    Peter Eagleman is fascinated by the perception of time, and in his later life is obsessed by it. His goal, I think, is to reverse the quickening effect. He grows up to become an entomologist after observing a slow worm in his garden which sparked his interest. We see certain moments of his life as he grows older and he tells us how time quickens for him, but his eldest son still lives in a world of infinite possibility and his whole life really is ahead of him. He is somewhat jealous of this fact. Peter talks to a friend about time in one particular scene (the bar scene?) and what I find interesting here is that he is so obsessed with time that he actually draws a graph, or rather smudges it with his spilt drink. This graph is actually shown in the making of or behind the scenes video by Michael Please, and it might not actually be the case, but the smudge on the table is certainly significant and it reminded me of the graph which Michael explains at 40s in the video below.

    Some years later he's on an expedition and finds a stag, naming it after himself, the Eagleman Stag. He remarks that with each new find time for him feels weighty again. This is interesting, because it's said that the more we do in life the more fulfilled and rich our time feels. Several years later he founds the Eagleman Institute and has become a celebrated Entomologist. One night, however, he becomes depressed because he can't get funding for a new expedition, so in a fit of anger cuts the heads of his specimens in one the wings of the building (I really didn't think this was going to happen - a strange turn in the story). He finds, strangely enough, that the Eagleman Stag is able to regrow cells, which would mean he might've found his answer. He bitterly hides this fact from his peers. This is where the film becomes somewhat cryptic for me and it's difficult to explain because I don't fully understand it. There is a scene where he appears to be on his death bed as an eighty-something and he has the option, in the form of two vials, to forget everything, or use the cells of the Eagleman Stag to reverse everything and to go back, as it were. It looks as if he actually chooses the Stag vial injection because there is imagery which shows his having the "antlers" of the beetle and many other clues. It's the true ending that confuses me. I don't quite understand the significance of his being turned into an inanimate object and so forth, but it appears as if he's back at his old home and he is inspecting the very first slow worm that he found as a child, but he's a fully grown adult. The main question I have is how exactly the cells of the beetle can "send him back". It's injected into the brain, yes, but I can't quite figure out how that would work. Perhaps it's not to be taken literally?

    This may be wrong, but this is my interpretation of the film. Thank you.

    I urge you to take a look at the Making Of. It's fascinating.

    [video=vimeo;42574793]http://vimeo.com/42574793[/video]

    Edit: Sorry, Goatboy. I forgot to reply to you. I've not come across 2000AD Future Shocks, but I have heard of and I'm somewhat familiar with Alan Moore. I'll have a look. Thanks :)
     
    #5 THOaken, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  6. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.”- Terry Prachett[/SIZE=1]
     
    #6 boatman, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  7. sandbender

    Mod

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    Thanks for that, I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of something by Guy Murchie that I'd read.

    "Many people have surmised that our quickening sense of time depends
    upon the diminishing percentage of a lifetime that each hour or year takes
    up as we age. To a year-old baby, a year is a lifetime - eternity. To a
    ten-year-old, a year is but a tenth of his lifetime, and each hour is
    proportionately shorter. "When he reaches fifty,' writes (Guy) Murchie,
    'time is passing five times faster still, clocks have begun to whiz, and a
    year is but two percent of his life. And, if he reaches a hundred, it's one
    percent. His old friends have been dying off at a fearful rate, while new
    children sprout into adults like spring flowers. Strange buildings pop up
    like mushrooms. A whole year to him actually consumes less conscious
    time than did four days when he was one year old.'"


    It is a little trickier now that I have children but over the past couple of decades I have found that the easiest way to get time to slow down again is to travel, preferably on foot and somewhere you have never been before. Jeff Greenwald puts it into better words than I ever could...

    In Nepal, the phenomenon is reversed. Time is a stick of incense that burns
    without being consumed. One day can seem like a week; a week, like
    months. Mornings stretch out and crack their spines with the yogic
    impassivity of house cats. Afternoons bulge with a succulent ripeness, like fat peaches. There is time enough to do everything - write a letter, eat breakfast, read the paper, visit a shrine or two, listen to the birds, bicycle downtown to change money, buy postcards, shop for Buddhas - and arrive home in time for lunch."


    "Shopping for Buddhas"
     
    #7 sandbender, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  8. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

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    Cheers for popping that up Sandbender. Not only does it compliment the film THOaken put up, but has encouraged me to obtain a copy of Shopping for Buddhas. Have seen it but never dipped in, and that snippet just dripped with the juice of a good read.
     
  9. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Plus one to all that :)
     

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