Don Hertzfeldt is on a roll. His new film “World of Tomorrow” is slated to premiere on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 22.
An intimation of a description on IMDb indicates the film is the story of how “a little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.” Try wrapping your head around that over the course of a 17-minute long short film.
If you’ve never seen his animated shorts, such as “Rejected”, which has elements of dark humor and gore sort of like a cross between Robot Chicken and Metalocalypse, you might not “get” his style.
His early stuff is creepy and shocking, almost akin to that strange Salad Fingers toon circa 2003, but his new work is more mature.
The latest addition to his recent trilogy, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” is now on Netflix. This film could be described as depressing by some. I think it’s a hyperbole on the day-to-day breakdown of the usual routines a person has as they age; instead of waking up in the morning and making tea, you may find you’ve forgotten who you are.
I watched the entire compilation of the 23-minute films with my brother on Christmas Eve, and I have been seeing scenes replay in my head since then. Yesterday, while sharing “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” with a friend, he pointed out that he recognized Hertzfeldt’s work but couldn’t remember his name.
“Oh, that’s the ‘spoon’ guy,'” he said, and that’s when it clicked in my mind… His film, “Rejected” starts off with a bug-eyed stick figure standing next to a spoon that is taller than he is, by about 200 percent. The character whines, “My spoon is too big!” in one of those unforgettable voices that you can’t help but try and emulate when you’re sharing an inside joke with one of your friends. Does everyone know about this?
“Rejected“, created a cult of sorts, ultimately leading his to become a household name. It took him years of receiving bad reviews from the press and rejection letters from respected theaters and now he’s finally getting recognition for his meta-cognitive insights into the most morose parts of the collective psyche.
Hertzfeldt is just expressing what everyone is thinking, but the general masses are either too afraid or out of a lack of talent, have failed to convey.
Watch the video below to view a clip of an sequence he directed for an episode of The Simpsons in late September this year.
“World of Tomorrow” has eluded the lineup for films to be shown during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour at the Enzian Theater in Orlando, Fla, but Hertzfeldt’s blog and Twitter posts suggest the film will be shown in other theaters around the country.
If you live in Orlando, driving to Gainesville might not be a bad option, when you want to see this on the big screen. There is an indie movie theater called the Hippodrome, an hour drive north of the epicenter of Orlando. Or we could wait until the media hype dies down after Sundance and watch “World of Tomorrow” when it appears on YouTube, then comes subsequently to Netflix.
Until then, check out “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” and get a glimpse of what’s going on in this man’s brain.