An Ode to the Red Plastic Party Cup

A short documentary, I, Party Cup, explores the origins of the disposable drinking glass.

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The red Solo cup is an iconic image in American party culture, but for John Pavlus, director of the short documentary above, it all comes down to the question, who cares? “I, Party Cup began with my own curiosity about the design of everyday things—things that are part of the built world but taken totally for granted, like traffic cones, fastening rivets, doorknobs … and disposable drinking cups,” says Pavlus.

Produced in partnership with Grist, the Kickstarter-funded film provides background on the origins of the Solo company, but Pavlus sees it as something more. He introduces us to people who take pride in their contributions, big and small, to the making of the cup.“Ed, Kim, and Will—the three people we meet in I, Party Cup—are each an answer to that question [who cares?]” says Pavlus. “So, to me, I, Party Cup is a film about responsibility. It’s about who was there, why they cared, and what they did.” Pavlus discusses the project further in this article for Grist.

To see more films from Pavlus’s production company visit Small Mammal.

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Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

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