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Sweating to the Surreal

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Uploaded on Sep 28, 2007

Mariko Takahashi's Fitness Video for Being Appraised as an "Ex-fat Girl" (often referred to as Doggy Fitness or Poodle Fitness) is a short film by renowned art director and commercial film director Nagi Noda who has created spots for Nike and Coca Cola and starring Takahashi Mariko, a Japanese 2005 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships gymnast and jazz musician.. The film was created for Panasonic's Ten Short Movies -- Capture the Motion series for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The film is a typical work out video except for the fact that the video's instructor is dressed in a body suit giving her the appearance of having muscles shaped like the fur of a groomed poodle dog. Also, exercising with her in the video are six actors dressed in dog costumes with actual live dogs' heads superimposed over their real heads. Nagi Noda, in her artist's statement, explained that she arrived at the poodle concept after noticing that the dogs' hair cuts resembled muscles. She believed that this concept would help her video appeal to people of all ages.

The video circulated throughout the Internet since it was posted on the Panasonic website along with the other nine short films in 2004. Possibly contributing to its popularity, Noda never explains in the video why people in the video are wearing dog costumes, leaving viewers to speculate. Many early viewers had speculated that it was somehow related to furry fandom, though it seems more likely that this is meant to be purely surreal for its own sake.

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