Unedited Footage of a Bear is the latest short film placed in Adult Swim's 4:00 a.m. slot, usually reserved for infomercials. It's where insomniacs, stoners and film enthusiasts alike go to explore the inner depths of the soul. And explore they do.
This latest Adult Swim short, directed by Alan Resnick and Ben O'Brien, is certainly bizarre, but in a much different way than Too Many Cooks, Adult Swim's viral sensation from early November. In fact, Unedited Footage of a Bear shares more with David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE than anything else.
Though it certainly begins with a comedic premise — an unnervingly long commercial for a prescription drug with a litany of side effects — any sense of levity is left far behind by the fourth minute.
In fact, the bear footage for which the film takes its name is only on screen for the first 30 seconds before the real story takes over. What does it mean? Are we supposed to laugh or cry? You'll certainly have your own interpretation.
And if you're still puzzled by the end, Adult Swim's promotional site for the fictional drug, Claridryl, doesn't offer many answers.
That's to say that Unedited Footage of a Bear is a disappointment. In fact, that may not even be possible with this kind of short film. The whole point of the 4:00 a.m. time slot, it seems, is to offer a space for experimentation, a place to put a 10-15 minute short where there aren't expectations.
At the very least, try to go in with an open mind.