The simple elegance of Don Hertzfeldt
This past Sunday, Denver was host to filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt and the local premiere of his new short, It’s Such a Beautiful Day, which completes his Bill trilogy.
You may have seen the first two installments, Everything Will Be OK and I Am So Proud Of You.
They follow a man named Bill, whose health rapidly deteriorates and life around him begins to make less and less sense. I won’t spoil how the trilogy ends, but I think it turns Bill into one of the most iconic animated characters ever created.
The mix of humor and philosophy is great. The animation looks deceptively simple. While there aren’t a lot of moving parts, Hertzfeldt said that makes each movement even more critical. Placement of the eye just one millimeter over and an expression changes completely. As audiences we’re not conscious of those decisions, but it’s revealing to hear about them. It makes you appreciate the delicacy and elegance behind these animations, which have influenced filmmakers ever since Rejected (2000)
Is Don Hertzfeldt the Walt Disney of our generation with such evocative, 2-D drawings? I think his Bill trilogy makes a compelling case for it.
He is currently touring around the country with the trilogy. Don’t miss it if you have a chance!