Don Hertzfeldt and his animated films

Discussion in 'Movies, Books, TV & Media' started by russmuller, May 1, 2016.

  1. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

    Messages:
    1,682
    Likes Received:
    148
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I first saw Don Hertzfeldt's animated short Rejected about 13 or 14 years ago. Lines like "my spoon is too big!" and "I am a banana!" are a part of my lexicon of humor, but I was totally unaware that Don has continued to produce animated films in his same, unique style.

    Last night a friend showed me the feature on Netflix called It's Such a Beautiful Day, an hour long film which is actually a compilation of 3 short films he made. It's almost entirely stick figures, and it follows the life of Bill, a rather bland person who battles mental health issues and a degenerative brain disease. The humor is very dark, but also really necessary to contrast how tragic a story it was. It definitely takes you to some uncomfortable places, ala David Lynch films. It was so tragic and depressing, but also funny, uplifting, and beautiful. What a masterpiece. If your mental health is questionable, it may not be a good thing to watch.

    He's got another short on Netflix called World of Tomorrow where people survive death as digitally copied consciousness, and the consciousness of a long dead person meets a clone descendant of herself from the future. It was also a bit of a mindfuu, but really it's an incredible piece of art.

    If you like things that are depressing and tragic, but in a beautiful way, and with very dark humor, I suggest you check these out. He has these films available on Blu-Ray from his site www.bitterfilms.com too, if you don't have Netflix.
     
  2. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    161
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    WI
    I funded the blu-ray release of that through kickstarter several months back, and received it recently. It's Such a Beautiful Day and World of Tomorrow are goddam masterpieces, and both are incredibly depressing, the latter sort of subtly.
    It's sort of funny to me, since he was popular way back when I was in college for a short film called "Rejected," which was kind of...Adult Swim style humor? It was quite shocking and bizarre and exactly the kind of thing college students loved. "MY SPOON IS TOO BIG" was a popular T-shirt among nerds at my school. It wasn't totally artless, but it had no hint at all of what was to come several years later.
     
  3. Ralyks

    Ralyks The One Who Knocks Contributor

    Messages:
    2,874
    Likes Received:
    141
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Location:
    Dutchess County, NY
    I absolutely adored Rejected back in the day, and all of Hertzfelds animated shorts. I really need to check out the newer stuff.
     
  4. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    161
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    WI
    I know for sure that Netflix has World of Tomorrow, and I know it had It's Such a Beautiful Day at some point too (it might still?).

    World of Tomorrow is about a little girl in the present being visited by a (several generations down) clone of herself from the future, who then takes her on a tour explaining the future. It's got a lot of humor, but it's crushingly depressing and has a ton of subtly profound meditation on the human condition.

    It's such a beautiful day is three shorts stuck together. The first is soul-crushing, yet has some bizarre humor in it, and is about a man suffering from a degenerative mental illness. The second short is the least of the three, and is about the same character from a slightly different perspective, one where he sort of pontificates on his genetics and how they are tied to this condition. The third is probably the most depressing thing I've ever seen, but it's kind of beautiful, too. The only thing I can possibly think of to compare the trilogy to is "Synecdoche New York," but the tone is radically different and I think many people who can't stand Synedoche can still get something out of this.

    Here's a blurb written about it from a list of the top 100 animated films of all time (it placed #16):

    And another review:

    Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day: The best animated movie of the year is about a stick figure named Bill.
     

Share This Page