858. Shuteye Hotel – Bill Plympton

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SUMMARY: A tribute to Film Noir in which a police officer investigates the mysterious deaths at the Shuteye Hotel.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘Shuteye Hotel’ is Bill Plympton’s tribute to Film Noir. Drawn in darker colours than is usual for a Plympton short, ‘Shuteye Hotel’ brilliantly evokes the slow build and suspense of classic murder mysteries as the bodies stack up and finally a police officer puts herself in harm’s way to get to the bottom of it. The solution to the mystery is pure Plympton and is when the short slides from pastiche to parody. A truly Plymptonian twist, this one will take even fans of the director by surprise and whether you enjoy the revelation or not will depend on you having a very specific sense of humour. In the manner of the best satirists, Plympton plays out the scenario in full even when it gets ridiculous, ending the film quietly as if we haven’t just seen something utterly weird. For a man who had been defying expectations for decades, ‘Shuteye Hotel’ was confirmation of Plympton’s continued ability to do so.

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