Do you have time for David Lynch’s short film, Six Men Getting Sick? Of course, you do. Have a bit of art with your coffee, if not your croissant.
At four minutes and 15 seconds, Six Men Getting Sick (1966) can be a perfect little injection of art into your life. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough art in my life, I start feeling sick. After days and days of the stock market, mixed martial arts, racing, soccer, terror TV, and mass shootings, I can begin to feel a bit queasy. A little, or lots, of art can be some tonic.
Here, we have the art gallery experience in pill form. All you have to do is throw it down. It is quick and almost painless. Six Men Getting Sick would be perfectly at home in the surrealist section of any major art gallery. Playing its endless loop on an endless loop, it would definitely hold its own among the works of Man Ray and Salvador Dalí, to name but two. The surrealists certainly used film as a major medium and Lynch’s work provides an early window into his later films such as Eraserhead. I could see Six Men Getting Sick projected against a large blank wall. Or maybe playing on each of a jumbled stack of dozens of old fashioned televisions, their collective blue light flickering in the dark.
Will this little film sing its siren song to you? Only you can answer that question. But first you have to give it a chance. One comment I noticed indicated that the fellow’s dog took a keen interest in this film. For my part, and a rare occurrence, my cat stood and stared at my screen while listening intently. If only we could discuss.
According to IMDb, Six Men Getting Sick was Lynch’s first film and had an estimated budget of $200. For those two reasons alone it is noteworthy, instructive, and worth a look.
So, a little art with your coffee, what is the worst thing that could happen? I’m no risk underwriter, but for my money it would be that the words, “That was weird,” or something substantially the same, slip from your lips. Something completely different might be just what the doctor ordered. Regardless, quick and almost painless, it is an art gallery experience in pill form, surreal, and a prescription to remedy the mundane.