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Resistentialism (or, On the Malevolence of Inanimate Objects)

In the course of humanity's endeavors there must be an ongoing interaction with the objects that also occupy our common space, objects that are in themselves not in possession of free will, and which are therefore commonly known as inanimate. Yet through the course of any ordinary day any common person will find such objects indeed rising up with apparent intent — with malevolent intent. By what forces are such manifestations created? Resistentialism (or, On the Malevolence of Inanimate Objects) is the third episode of the hit mystery-documentary show What Do We Know? In this episode we examine the manner in which ordinary objects seem to have a will of their own, and it's not pretty.

  • Craig Trumbo
  • Craig Trumbo
  • Julia Foodman
    Key Cast
    "Mary Schrodonger Qurie, PhD, Quantum Physics"
  • Brett Darling
    Key Cast
    "Werner Locker-Dobbs, DDiv, Church of the One Magnet"
  • Kevin Reifel
    Key Cast
    "Ulysses S. Jacoby, PhD, Theoretical Philosophy"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    21 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 17, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Horsetooth Fest/5
    Fort Collins
    United States
    September 9, 2023
    Premier Showing
    Official Selection
  • Portland Comedy Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    October 15, 2023
    Best Mocumentary Series Episode
  • Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival
    Colorado Springs, CO
    United States
    October 7, 2023
    Best Experimental
  • GeekFest Toronto
    February 12, 2024
    Canadian Premier
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Craig Trumbo

Craig Trumbo operates VuJa de Industries, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. In addition to woodworking enterprises in the visual arts, he writes and produces music videos and short films addressing today's pressing social and political issues. Recent projects have included material on climate change, gun violence, and the war against Ukraine. He also composes and plays all musical parts in his films.

Additional works can be seen on his YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/DrRetch

Regarding his pathway to this point, Trumbo offered some insight.

"It was actually a bit of a segue, beginning to create original music and accompanying videos, and eventually dramatic shorts. After all, the band folded during the pandemic. While my base motivation may have been to simply maintain some creative outlet, one must first have something to say before bringing pen to paper, lens to CCD. My passions for the environment and social justice therein found an outlet. This collided with my professional background in photography and more recent efforts in music and production. And having worked, studied, and taught in journalism for some 25 years left me a hopeless news addict. So, to quote Chrissie Hynde:

"The phone, the TV and the news of the world got in the house like a pigeon from hell"

Stay tuned, more to come . . .

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Director Statement

It's not clear when or where the notion of inanimate objects having a will of their own first arose. Probably in a cave some 100,000 years ago, in France, in an incident involving rocks. Whatever the case, it was in 1948 that humorist Paul Jennings coined the work Resistentialism: an amalgam of Latin res ("thing"), the French résister ("to resist"), and existentialism (according to Wikipedia). Jennings published his account of this phenomenon in The Spectator, and it was subsequently reprinted in The New York Times. Jennings later expanded on the idea and crafted the slogan, "Les choses sont contre nous" ("Things are against us"). Indeed.

For some reason entirely lost to time, I became fixated on the concept several decades ago when I began an essay on the topic (and at that time unfamiliar with Jennings work). I never finished that essay, but the notes were still there when I went looking for a quick at-home no-fuss project to wring out some new camera gear. As it happened, at about that time I did in fact drop a small battery to see it roll across the floor and into an air register. I did not have another battery of that type. On completion of the film and music, some six months later, I still do, not have the answer to "By what forces are such manifestations created?" But yes, les choses sont contre nous.