Closed Mondays is an eight-minute animated film using animated, three-dimensional clay figures, created by Bob Gardiner and filmed by Will Vinton in 1974. It was produced by Lighthouse Productions, released by Pyramid Films in the United States, and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1975.
|Directed by||Bob Gardiner|
|Distributed by||Pyramid Films|
The film opens with the words "CLOSED MONDAYS" written in white against a black background, filling the screen. Using a pull-back shot, the camera then shows the viewer that the words are part of a sign that reads:
|AUG 15 – OCT 3|
- ONE WOMAN SHOW -
OCT 3 – MARCH 19
A version of the film released on home video blacks out the "USUAL CRAP" part of the sign.
It is night. A small art gallery stands with its door slightly ajar and the lights on. A bulbous-nosed man with thinning grey hair, holding a brown bottle and apparently drunk, wanders in. As he shuffles through the gallery, a small abstract sculpture is transformed, imitating the man behind his back before returning to its original shape without his noticing.
The drunk sees a picture of colorful musical notes that form a circle around a jagged shape resembling a red staircase. The picture moves to upbeat music for a moment and then returns to normal. Doubting his own eyes ("HEY! What the...?!! Oh, no!" he mutters), the man looks again. The music begins to play, and a miniature man resembling the drunk skips down the stairs, stands on one of the circling musical notes, rides it for a while, then continues down the stairs to the bottom. The entire picture then becomes two abstract colored clay blobs that pulsate to the music. Suddenly the music stops and the drunk is back in the gallery, where he makes a critical comment ("What was that guy thinking of?!") and staggers away.
The man sees a sculpture of a computer-like device with large lips and gauges for eyes. He makes another comment ("I wonder what makes it work."), then laughs at the sculpture and flips a lever that starts it. The sculpture begins speaking rapidly and says it is a "replica of the model 505 type P electro brain," claims to be far superior to its creators, and carries out its "infinite mutation" program. The computer begins to stutter as it tries to say it has a short circuit and an error before changing into a talking globe, a talking apple, a colorful bust of Albert Einstein, a television, and finally a hand with smaller hands at the end of each of the fingers before entirely melting down into a shapeless mass of clay.
The drunk male walks away after making another comment ("Blabbermouth computer!"), and is then frightened by some jungle animals reaching through a glassless window pane that turns out to be a harmless painting. Distressed, the drunk male walks on, where he sees a painting of a medieval woman kneeling on a castle floor. She holds a brush in her hand and a bucket is beside her. The drunk male asks her, "Hey...wassa matter?" She weeps and tells him, "Oh, if my master could have seen more of the beauty in life… Here I am on my knees, doomed to wear this sorrowful face, scrubbing this cold stone floor forever and forever and forever..." Then the painting returns to normal.
The drunk male sees the still-open door and runs to get out of the gallery, crossing a small plinth on the floor as he does so. As he stands on the plinth he freezes in place, becoming a piece of bronze statuary.
The short film was also included in a 1985 video compilation called, Academy Award Winners - Animated Short Films, released by Vestron Video, albeit altered somewhat; the sign outside the museum at the beginning leaves out the words "Usual Crap" and the drunk, after seeing the first painting briefly come to life, mutters, "What the...?!"
- Staff (2012). "Închis lunea | Closed Mondays". anim'est (in Romanian and English). ESTENEST Association. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Anne Richardson (4 March 2009). "Closed Mondays (1974)". Oregon Movies, A to Z. Oregon Movies, A to Z. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Vinton-Gardiner Productions (1974), Closed Mondays, Internet Archive, Vinton-Gardiner Productions, retrieved 2019-11-05
- sharp666 (October 11, 2012). "Closed Mondays". YouTube. Google. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- Staff (2012). "The Classics". anim'est (in Romanian and English). ESTENEST Association. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
(Wayback Machine copy)