By now I hope we have all seen the 1 minute, 21 second short “Baby Trashes Bar in Las Palmas” on YouTube. If not, stop what you’re doing immediately and watch it (how many reviewers will command that you stop reading their writing? And how many YouTube videos are worth it? Trust me on this one). The clip has 14M+ views and comes with the promise of more footage to come. This year’s Sundance Film Festival finally fulfilled that promise with the premiere of Johannes Nyholm’s short film “Las Palmas,” in which audiences get to see a wasted, sleepy, violent baby terrorize a beach bar.
The baby, playing a middle-aged woman – complete with stuffed bra, fanny pack, and clip-on earrings – consumes gigantic ice cream sundaes, drinks a bar dry, and falls asleep at the table. In short, she’s a little hedonistic. To make everything to scale, Nyholm positions the baby in a very homemade set, surrounded by marionettes that seem appalled and dismayed at the baby’s behavior.
It doesn’t seem to take much to get a classic drunken performance out of a baby: merely give her messy food, some apple juice, and access to a keyboard. She will display the same kind of selfishness and confidence that characterize an actual drunk. This film delights in the same way as pictures of cats wearing clothes, a baby is just not meant to behave so immorally! However, the beauty of “Las Palmas” is that it does not solely depend on a baby interacting with puppets. Place a real middle-aged actor on location surrounded by other actors, and the excessive drinking and stained tank top is still hilarious – it’s just way more original with a baby.
If you still lack the motivation to find this short and consume it multiple times, consider this little tidbit: the baby drives a motorcycle and smokes cigarettes. Classic.