Even if you don’t know the myth by name, you know the story. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus, King of Corinth, was punished “for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action for eternity.” In modern times, this story inspired Albert Camus to write “The Myth of Sisyphus,” an essay where he famously introduced his concept of the “absurd” and identified Sisyphus as the absurd hero. And it provided the creative material for a breathtakingly good animation created by Marcell Jankovics in 1974. The film, notes the annotation that accompanies the animation on Youtube, is “presented in a single, unbroken shot, consisting of a dynamic line drawing of Sisyphus, the stone, and the mountainside.” Fittingly, Jankovics’ little masterpiece was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 48th Academy Awards. Enjoy watching it above.
Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.