Time Piece is a 1965 experimental short film directed, written, produced by and starringJim Henson. The film depicts an ordinary man moving in constant motion, in a desperate attempt to escape the passage of time. Time Piece is notable as one of the few live-action projects Jim Henson produced that did not involve any form of puppetry. The short film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1966.
The fast-paced scenes in Time Piece are edited together in a rhythmic pentameter, with an underlying use of sounds and repetitive beats. The film begins with a young man (who provides only four brief words of dialogue) sitting patiently in a hospital bed. An unidentified doctor enters the room and checks the man's heart rate, which begins to pulse rhythmically. As the rhythm increases, the film begins to follow the man's peculiar habits such as crossing a busy street, working in a busy office, eating dinner with his wife, running down a street dressed as Tarzan, and visiting a strip club while simultaneously maintaining himself in motion. Eventually, the man is imprisoned and is forced to perform odd acts of labor, until he escapes, and begins to frantically run across a long distance. The man then jumps off a diving board and soars into the sky (aided by a flying device), where he is subsequently shot down by the world's military powers. He falls from the sky, defeated, and lands in a muddy puddle in the form of a rustic clock. The clock strikes twelve and the film's events flash quickly on-screen. Back in the hospital room, the doctor covers the man's seemingly lifeless body. The camera then pans up towards the doctor's face, revealing him to be the same man, smiling gleefully.