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The Organ Grinder's Monkey (2011)

The short is deliberately made complex: Rhys, a failed painter meets in a pub with some friends to discuss their methods for creating revolutionary paintings. His talk is carefully listened... See full summary »


Dinos Chapman


Jake Chapman


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Credited cast:
Rhys Ifans ... Rhys
Shandice Relihan Shandice Relihan ... Buffy
David Thewlis ... Pablo
Kevin Spacey ... Fatty
Rosamund Pike ... Rochelle
Daniel Craig ... Bubbles
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Perry Benson Perry Benson ... Cynic
Dominic Coleman ... Felix
Nia Gwynne ... Melanie
Paul Hickey ... Ernst
Jamie Hince
Andrew McHale ... Hans
Michael O'Mara Michael O'Mara ... Tarquin


The short is deliberately made complex: Rhys, a failed painter meets in a pub with some friends to discuss their methods for creating revolutionary paintings. His talk is carefully listened with interest by Pablo the leader of a group of art-inclined cockroaches. They are interested in his painting style and have been following him. Rhys go up to his studio where he is joined by Buffy, a drunken whore. When she falls asleep on a couch where she poses nude, some paint from his palette drops accidentally on her body. He tries to remove the paint, but all he gets is to besmirch her even more. Her smudged body excites him erotically. She wakes up and leaves the room cursing. Lustful with the new experience he begins to masturbate calling forth his monkey. He grinds his organ and the monkey appears wildly in the moment of the orgasm, which proves at once fatal to Pablo, who has been watching. Written by Bob Buckingham

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Short | Drama







Release Date:

May 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Organ Grinder's Monkey See more »

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User Reviews

Bizarre but sort of interesting
30 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

It is difficult to sum up what to make of 'The Organ Grinder's Monkey'. It is certainly memorable, and compared to a lot of short films there is a uniqueness about it.

'The Ogran Grinder's Monkey' is well-made visually, the austerity and griminess of it perfectly fitting with the short's atmosphere and it's nicely shot. The cockroaches are well designed too. The music is hauntingly hypnotic for much of it while starting off on a whimsical note. The atmosphere is chaotic somewhat, but also very sexually erotic and suspenseful enough to make one watch on regardless of how much sense or not the story is making to them at this point.

Excellent casting helps too, with Rhys Ifans dominating with a real broodiness and stoicism. Shandice Relihan is suitably erotic and delivers her final lines with appropriate venom. The cockroaches don't have much to do but their lines (the best coming from Thewlis) are delivered with enthusiasm, though to be perfectly honest Daniel Craig's contribution was instantly forgettable to me. David Thewlis and Rosamund Pike's voices were the most recognisable, and Thewlis gets the lion's share and does excellently while Pike's sass delivered in a soft-spoken but also wittily stern manner make up for the fact that her lines are hardly any.

On the other hand, while strangely riveting, largely to the atmosphere, and never got the urge to turn it off, it was very difficult to follow or understand the storyline. While it was oddly compelling and did intrigue it was not easy to fully enjoy or appreciate it when comprehending it didn't prove very easy at all and neither did completely getting the point 'The Organ Grinder's Monkey' was trying to make. The dialogue also seemed weak, outside of Thewlis', being particularly cartoonish at the beginning with some of the acting quite broad.

Some of the touches, even for the subject matter, didn't seem very tasteful. The ejaculation/masturbation with a very fake-looking penis just felt out of place and in bad taste, it could easily have been omitted and it wouldn't have harmed anything at all. Some of the pacing dragged a little on occasions.

In summary, difficult to rate and make heads of, because it was interesting and strangely riveting but anybody who manages to track it down should be warned that don't go looking out for sense or expect to get the point. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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