Ben Boyer and the Phenomenology of Automobile Branding

Rian Johnson Toilet Short Film

Why Watch? The narrator of Rian Johnson‘s Ben Boyer and the Phenomenology of Automobile Branding (whose name is Ben Boyer) gets a lesson from a mysterious voice emanating from a bathroom grate who explains the deeply rooted psychology of car logos. Although it probably only teaches him to use a different toilet. The a/v quality is pretty bad — Johnson mentions that it’s a copy of a copy of a copy from the “$99 Special” program at Slamdance 2001 — but the idea is still firmly in place, and it’s a very cool relic to see in light of the director’s rise in the ranks from Brick to Looper. Plus, the idea is a wild one. Thick with narration and a kind of fury not often seen in movies that consist mostly of static imagery, the short is a bizarre intellectual pursuit given satirical fangs by its location. Simply put, the humor is so dry that you have to wash your hands afterward.

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published: 12.17.2014
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