The Big Shave

I started growing my beard a year ago today. It’s my beardiversary. Randomly, a friend emailed me this morning and said “Love the beard” as a sign-off.

Like the N93, it was just supposed to be a brief experiment. I even shaved it off after 2 months to make one of my first proper little films with my phone (and as a tribute to Scorsese for finally winning his Oscar). I used the same music as his amazing 1967 short The Big Shave. I posted it on FatGirlInOhio – it was pre-Twittervlog. So lots of you won’t have seen it – and really, it also belongs here.

And the original, so you can compare and contrast:

Alternative formats:
Quicktime / Flash

13 thoughts on “The Big Shave

  1. Looking good Ru. I will be shaving my beard off tomorrow.

    Shocking use of your tooth brush though, but you knew that, right? 🙂

  2. It’s your face indeed and it looks kinda strange without the beard… I think you could have been more true to the spirit of the original and done the video shirtless. Just a suggestion for next time.

  3. ohmygod! I am totally totally traumatized, first by scorsese’s totally sicko fucking head, and then by the notion that you shaved off your beard! today!

    but then I realized that you didn’t.

    and I’m ok again now


  4. yea, that’s not good for the toothbrush man…..and you are supposed to trim before you start….but then again that’s what made it so great 😉

  5. Dear Mr Howe

    I’m here with Mr Cotton and am late of Mr Gibson.

    Hoo de ha ha. The shaving was weak at best. Would be nice to see some more Howesque narrative and a bit more spunk.

    Your loving public

    ASF (forever)

  6. Thanks, Hume – always nice to get supportive comments from old school friends at Christmas.

    “The shaving was weak at best”? Maybe. It was the first thing I did with this phone. Wasn’t really putting it up here as a highlight of the year.

    You could’ve just clicked on the Top 10 at the top or the Recent Faves in the sidebar. Though thinking about it, I don’t know which of them have Howesque narrative or spunk, so maybe they’re all a bit weak in those terms. I’m sure if I put them on Youtube, comments would be mostly WTF and BORING and U R GAY!!

    Something I’ve noticed but never commented on is that my films are absolutely rubbish to watch at a party or when you’re drinking with people. Really boring or disappointing.

    Youtube watching is becoming like people getting out their best vinyl at the end of the evening. At some point, somebody thinks of a good YT skit and says Get Out Your Laptop and everybody clusters round and starts surfing videos.

    Quite often somebody who’s seen something of mine while bored at their desk (or wherever) will say, “Let’s watch YOU”. Kate used to do it, but she knows better now.

    Maybe it’s the objectifying truth of watching something as a group – seeing it for what it really is: shit. But I tell myself that it’s really about context. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to carrying on making things.

    I think it’s basically because they’re just video diaries. Sometimes arty video diaries. But never viral. People aren’t going to send them to friends. They’re sort of weirdly direct and personal and me-to-you rather than universal. You can never tell who’ll like them.

    Even things like Anarchy in the UK don’t work because they’re not the kind of video that deliver loud laughs and punchlines quick enough.

    Each one is part of a whole. The more I watch of people’s personal videoblogs, the more I get to know them, and the more their videos mean to me.

    I really love some of the films that people make. But I’d never show them in a public setting where there are distractions and that need to say “That’s GREAT!”.

    Stick to Darth Vader skits and people falling off buildings and clips from TV shows that we know. That’s the kind of web video that works in company.

    I wouldn’t stand up at a party and read a passage from a book that I liked, or show a couple of scenes from a movie. Unless they were very self-contained and very funny. Even then, that kind of stuff doesn’t really work.

    Not saying that that’s why you thought the shaving film was shit, Tom & Matts – probably you’d think it was weak anyway.

    Just splurging off my own observations of what I enjoy making and watching online compared to what the rest of the world seems to enjoy watching.

    I never have any good Youtube party videos to share with people. They’re sort of mystified by that. Last time, Kate was a bit embarrassed, I think.

  7. Weak? I don’t think so. Weak is me getting up this morning having hardly slept a wink. Weak is my sad bookshelf which collapsed whilst I was away. Weak is this foul tea I’m drinking whilst typing to Rupert. But The Big Shave..

    …Strong. As strong as any good tangle of beard. As strong as the three gorgeously weathered old sturdy oak chairs I found dumped outside a house in Putney recently, and which are now part of my living room decor. And, of course, as strong as all beautiful, personal, humourous, necessary, engaged artistic expression will always be. Scorsese sends you a wave.

  8. coincidentally, i just shaved my beard off this morning. my face hurts like hell. really hurts. damn, what was i thinking? the wind is cold. i’m naked. this is a nightmare.

    i’m going to go grow a new beard now. starting now. right now.

    there, i feel better.

    happy new year, rupert.

    (do i look fuzzier yet?)

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