Me and the Big Guy
|Me and the Big Guy|
|Directed by||Matt Nix|
|Produced by||Matt Nix
|Written by||Matt Nix|
|Music by||John Ballinger
John Dickson (song "A Friend Like Me")
|Edited by||Julian Gomez|
|Distributed by||Flying Glass of Milk Productions|
Directed and written by Matt Nix, this short film follows the life of unnervingly happy-go-lucky Citizen 43275-B (played by Michael Naughton), who despite the oppressive totalitarian regime and Thought Police looks ever forward to returning home and telling 'The Big Guy' (played by Dan Kern) on the telescreen about his work-day.
In much the same manner as an imaginary friend acts, 'The Big Guy' never responds until he finally becomes fed up with Citizen 43275-B and declares that he does not like being called 'The Big Guy' - but this intervention serves only to worsen Big Brother's predicament, as 43275-B enthusiastically hugs the telescreen and goes on to "amuse" him through a variety of ways: sock puppets, Boggle, hide and seek, one-sided pillow fights, and knock-knock jokes.
As this further frustrates him, Big Brother finally announces the true nature of himself and society by telling 43275-B:
|“||Let me explain something here. 'Big Brother' is a name we use to suggest an omniscient totalitarian presence. It's not supposed to be taken literally! I'm your oppressor, not your friend!||”|
Big Brother eventually shuts off the telescreen in disgust and frustration. After several minutes, Citizen 43275-B realizes that the telescreen is not coming back on. He then retrieves a hidden cache of a notebook, pen and reading glasses, and begins to write his own guide to revolution. The appearance in the opening scenes of a volume entitled "RE-EDUCATION MANUAL" on 43275-B's bookshelf, references to "re-education lectures", and the fact that he has a diary already set aside, all imply that this is not his first attempt, and suggests his behavior was deliberate.
Similarities with other stories
Besides the obvious telescreen and Big Brother of Nineteen Eighty-Four, there are some other references. 43275-B gets chocolate rations, the intercom says the flour ration was lowered by 9% (as the book says the ration was lowered), two members of the thought police arrest 43275-B's neighbour, a loudspeaker announces the executions of 30 political prisoners and 43275-B keeps a journal like Winston Smith does.
We, the satirical novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin that provided much of the inspiration for Nineteen Eighty-Four, features a narrator, "D-503", who through much of the story truly believes in the virtue of his utterly regimented, totalitarian state. Much of the comic tension derives from D-503's horror at his own emerging desire to shatter the order of the "perfect" society which is the only world he has ever known.
- Mike Naughton as Citizen 43275-B
- Dan Keon as Big Brother
- James Jacobus as Stormtrooper #1
- Sterling Wolfe as Stormtrooper #2
- Tom Wheatley as Neighbor
- Esmé Nix as Voice
Me and the Big Guy was included on the free DVD that came with issue 4 of the film magazine Total Movie, cover-dated April 2001. It included a running commentary with Matt Nix.