Awesome. This must be what schizophrenia is like.
Actually, usually initial schizophrenic hallucinations are auditory.
I think what you mean to say is "This must be what it's like to be followed around by a giant concrete guy that no one else can see." And you'd be spot on in that case.
But he could see some other peoples', so maybe others really could see his? Hard to say.
I blame urban-elemental spirit totems.
Ok, not really.. but still.
Wow, I didn't think there was a way to out-creepy concrete-guy.
This is a classic paper from SIGGRAPH 1994. Amazing work. Here's Karl's current homepage: http://web.genarts.com/karl/
Of course, there is also a screensaver.
His last name is "Sims"? Wow - it's like coming across a fishmonger called Mr. Halibut...
That was cool! I wonder if any of that technology ended up in Spore.
I curse whoever discovered that they could stream their all-text powerpoint slideshows out to MPEG. What a fucking waste.
Reminded me a bit of Pi, I suppose because of the scenes down in the subway/metro? Also visually some of the 1979 version of The Lathe of Heaven.
Hmm... where have I seen this before?
See, this guy obviously didn't listen to the commercial. It clearly states: Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience rash, shortness of breath or giant lurking concrete-core golems while taking this medication.
The moral of the story seems to be "being a wimp sucks".
I like how that thing, after initially getting the attention of the guy, is doing absolutely nothing except standing next to him
That came up in another discussion, when I pointed this charming filmette out to some other folks, and one of them asked "So what happens if you dance along with it?"
My guess: it'll do exactly the same things. It's entirely up to you if it's a guardian angel or a lurking nightmare.
Huh. That was my favorite bit about "Jacob's Ladder."
It's a tightly constructed little metaphor and film. You have to read it for symbolism and metaphor, like a sonnet in English class. It's pithy like that.
As a trot (uh, spoilers ahead?):
In film, a big thing is how to "establish" a character. Like, this guy -- you see him in a tunnel, waiting for a train, reading a paper -- you know at once "office worker with a daily commute".
So, look at how all the human characters are established in this film. What job title do you guess the smoking woman in the conference room has? What about the guy who comes in late (trailed by the airport baggage thingie) -- what's his job? In the snow, you see someone in a parka, walking down the street: what age do you imagine and what kind of purpose for that journey?
I think if you look at how each character is established, and then look at their shadow-creatures -- you'll see connections.
That's just the metaphorical structure -- the comparison. "Heavy man." The film goes much further.
The film contemplates madness and truth in a very specific way.
Our protagonist has a lucid psychotic break:
It is ambiguous if only he sees the mysterious creatures or not. The doctor suggests not. The nervousness of the people in the office suggests otherwise. There's no definite answer given in the film.
What is unambiguous is that our protagonist is the only person seen who is willing to *react to* the creatures that surround everyone.
These creatures represent, for each character, a way in which their lives are dominated (unpleasantly) by their place in the social order. We see that these creatures make most of the humans they shadow cower (the receptionist trailed by the building directory kiosk is an exception!). We even see, interestingly, that the humble bus driver is not trailed. But only our protagonist is the one moved to action by this perception. And, the nature of the actions he is compelled to make his behavior that of a madman, in contrast to those who, if they see these creatures, pretend not to.
Behaving madly, the social order swiftly consumes our protagonist. The trains, or buses, must keep on time.
Is such madness insanity? Is it failure to grasp an essential truth?
The author of the film speaks in the last scene, offering an answer: the role -- the cement creature our protagonist (as he realized in a dream) had been taken over by -- studies the failure mode and moves to the next "host".
Foucault wrote something or other about this....
Oh, I missed a symmetry -- a lovely one. There are TWO important characters in the film who aren't shadowed: the doctor and the bus driver -- two extremes of a class spectrum.
The moral: "Everyone in the middle is just hounded through life by who they are supposed to be according to some overwhelming social order, or else they get hit by a bus and die. If you feel this is important enough to do something about, then you will be hit by a bus and die."