25th November (Monday)
IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY
sc.: Don Hertzfeldt, dir.: Don Hertzfeldt, ph.: Don Hertzfeldt, prod.: Bitter Films, 2012, 62’, anim.
Don Hertzfeldt (born 1976) enjoys the status of a cult author in circle of animation lovers. In his collection of more than 200 awards and distinctions we can find, among others, an Oscar nomination (Rejected, 2000), Golden Palme d`Or in Cannes for a short film (Billy’s Balloon), and even an award for lifetime achievement received at the San Diego festival at the age of … 33. It is an impressive achievement for an artist under 40.
His latest film – It’s Such a Beautiful Day is an exceptional work, connecting three previously made and world acclaimed (also shown at the festival Etiuda&Anima) Hertzfeldt`s short animations (Everything will be ok ,2006; I Am So Proud of You, 2008; It’s Such a Beautiful Day, 2011), supplemented with additional materials. As a result a feature length animated black comedy was made, the essence of the American author`s style and sense of humour.
Each of the already mentioned short films constitutes yet another chapter of the feature length version. Everything will be ok won the jury award for a short film at the festival in Sundance. I Am So Proud of You won almost 30 awards. Two years after this film`s premiere Hertzfeldt presented It’s Such a Beautiful Day, the longest short film in the artist`s career to date, and at the same time the most ambitious, combining traditional animation techniques with experimental visual effects and trick photography. All three made up subsequent chapters of a feature length film. Also all three were made with the use of a now vintage 35 mm camera built in 1940s. It is one of few cameras of this type in the USA, which survived to our times and still works. It was used by Hertzfeldt for the first time while making a short film Rejected. Thanks to this camera it was possible to create numerous unique visual effects in the film.
It’s Such a Beautiful Day, a story about a man called Billy, who tries to deal with his fragile psyche and existential problems, after its first screenings was pronounced one of the best films of 2012. The success of Hertzfeldt`s first feature length animation only confirms his high position in the world of contemporary animation. His first short films influenced the surrealism of early 21st century. The artist himself, in turn, has influenced a whole generation of young authors. Hertzfeldt often does sound post-production, writes scripts, and edits, animates and produces his subsequent films, all by himself. In the meantime, he writes his blog, and takes money to produce his subsequent projects from selling DVDs or screenings tickets. Despite receiving moneymaking offers, he has never agreed to make an advertising film, and – as he frequently repeats – he does not intend to. His works – simple in form, with hand-drawn characters, tragicomic stories full of absurd and existential philosophy – have won immense popularity and made him one of the youngest authors on the list of a hundred most influential animation artists of all time.