“Warped keyhole-size images stack atop one another in a Frankenstein-ian collage that evokes the films of Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner. Seeing “the years [slip] out of [Bill’s] head” in this 71-minute compendium is nothing short of revelatory.” — Village Voice
“Considering that he’s a stick figure, Bill, the main character in “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” sure does have a complex internal life. And this animated film by Don Hertzfeldt does an amazing job of making you feel it, in all its sadness, terror and transcendence.” — New York Times Critics Pick
“…affirms Hertzfeldt as a true virtuoso, constructing an emotional narrative of existential meditation from swaths of banal occurrences, nightmarish hallucinations and devastatingly funny memories.” — Mubi
“Surprisingly moving animated feature benefits from dark humor that doesn’t undercut its story’s high stakes.” — Hollywood Reporter
Written, Animated and Directed by Don Hertzfeldt
71 minutes, color and B&W, 2012
available for theatrical screenings on quicktime and blu-ray
Cult animator and Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt has remastered and joined together his “Bill” trilogy of short films into a feature film.
As short films, Chapter One, Everything Will Be OK, won the Sundance Film Festival’s Jury Award in Short Filmmaking and was named by many critics as one of the “best films of 2007, “Chapter Two, I Am So Proud of You, received twenty-seven awards and was described by the San Francisco International Film Festival as “[his] best yet… even the Hertzfeldt faithful may be too stunned to laugh.” Chapter Three, It’s Such a Beautiful Day played the 2012 Sundance Film Festival before touring the US last Spring and Summer.
The feature blends traditional animation, experimental optical effects, trick photography, and new digital hybrids printed out one frame at a time, and was captured entirely on an antique 35mm animation stand, one of the last remaining cameras of its kind left in America. Don personally remastered the film to digital formats for this new, exclusive theatrical run.
The films will not be seen in theaters after this as Don embarks on a new feature film.
NEW: Don talks to the internet!
SELECTED REVIEWS for the Bill trilogy:
“Imagine The Tree of Life’s dawn-of-creation sequence recreated with electrical tape and Popsicle sticks to equally dazzling effect, and you’ll have some idea of the magic that animator Don Hertzfeldt can work with stick figures and paper. A one-man operation in a medium overwhelmingly dominated by the industrial model, Hertzfeldt has built a dedicated following over the past two decades.” –Sam Adams, the Onion AV Club
“There is a moment in each installment of Don Hertzfeldt’s masterful trilogy of animated shorts where you feel something in your chest. It’s an unmistakably cardiac event, the kind that great art can elicit when something profound and undeniably true is conveyed about the human condition. That’s when you say to yourself: are stick figures supposed to make me feel this way? In the hands of a master, yes. And Hertzfeldt is to stick figures what Franz Liszt was to planks of ebony and ivory and what Ted Williams was to a stick of white ash: someone so transcendentally expert that to describe what they do in literal terms is borderline demeaning.” - Steven Pate, The Chicagoist
“…genius…In his trademark 2-D animation, a stick figure enacts quotidian rituals — fruit buying, commuting — with a growing sense of ennui, existential angst, and eventually insanity. It’s hellish — and moving, too.” — Nina Maclaughlin, Boston Phoenix
“…the story, music, figures, and optical effects have been brought into perfect alignment… for a long time afterward, a sense of wonder for everyday life lingers.” — J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
“…darkly original…” — Rebecca Winters Keegan, TIME magazine
“…Hertzfeldt’s latest masterpiece… cracks hilarious jokes while looking squarely at the meaninglessness of everyday life. It’s like seeing a character from a Raymond Carver short story trapped in a “Far Side” cartoon… Hertzfeldt pushes the art form and its audience into some unexpectedly serious places.” — Curt Holman, Creative Loafing Atlanta
“.…a f*cking masterpiece. I can’t even begin to articulate my thoughts about the film but it just gave me shivers and I wasn’t able to attend the party after the screening. Just had to be alone. It had this effect on a number of other people here too.… stunning, beautiful, tragic, absurd work.” — Chris Robinson, artistic director Ottawa International Animation Festival
“An extraordinary meditation on life, childhood, aging, futility and the search for meaning. Fusing the work of artists like Guy Maddin, David Lynch and Crispin Glover, animator Don Hertzfeldt has created a masterwork. Watching this twenty-two minute life story of stick-figure, Bill, is to see someone in complete control of their medium. It’s hysterically funny, whimsical, macabre, horrifying, sentimental, mawkish, chilling, insightful and sublime — all at the same moment. Make the time to see this picture — if you can’t see it at the Fest then put it on your queue, your download in-box, your phone insta-list — whatever, whatever you use to view films — make a note and see it.” — Jett Loe, the Film Talk
“…dazzlingly mixes stick-figure animation with live-action footage, compresses one sad sack’s whole life and family history into a handful of minutes. Events are narrated in non sequiturs as dryly funny as the drawings… the overall effect is as ecstatic as the bars of Wagner, which fill its final minute.” — FX Feeney, LA Weekly
“Hertzfeldt’s work channels a lot of the aspirations and anxieties of us all… I Am So Proud Of You made me cry. It’s not just slapstick humour. I’m sure a lot of it is about psychological abuse. He doesn’t use digital technology; everything you see in a Don Hertzfeldt film has been scribbled down on a piece of paper and shot directly on to film. The rostrum camera he uses allegedly shot all the Peanuts films, and there is a kind of synchronicity with Peanuts and Don’s work. It’s American childhood. His work is a subversion of that American ideal.” — Ian Gardner, Edinburgh International Film Festival
“…continues the independent animator’s expanding technique, which matches his minimalistic stick figure characters with gorgeous photographic imagery and filters that through the look and feel of silent film. He’s a tragic comedian with lovable streak of dark absurdity — like all great animators in the history of the medium.” - Eric Kohn, Indiewire
Don Hertzfeldt’s animated films have been featured in over a thousand film festivals and venues around the world and have collectively received over 150 international awards.
Some notable honors include a Short Film Palm D’or nomination at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival (Billy’s Balloon), a 2001 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short (Rejected), the Sundance Film Festival’s Jury Award in Short Filmmaking (Everything will be OK), and Best Picture and Best Screenplay from the Fargo Film Festival (I Am So Proud of You).
In 2010, Don received the San Francisco International Film Festival’s “Persistence of Vision” Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 33.
Aug 24 and 25: The Guild Cinema, Albuquerque, NM
Sept 14–20: Ragtag Theater, Columbia, MO
Sept 14–20: Lyric Cinema Cafe, Fort Collins, CO
Sept 20–24: Cinefamily, LA
Sept 21 and 22: The Guild Cinema, Albuquerque, NM
Sept 21–27: Hollywood Theater, Portland, OR
Sept 28–30: Pickford Film Center, Bellingham, WA
Oct 5: Texas Theater, Dallas, TX
Oct 5–11: The Bijou Art Cinemas, Eugene, OR
Oct 5–11: IFC Center, New York, NY
Oct 12: Cornell Cinema, Ithaca, NY
Oct 12–18: The Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ
Oct 19–20 and 26–27: Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Oct 25: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Nov 7: International Film Series, Boulder, CO
Nov 9: The Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 16–20: Metro Cinema, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Nov 16–22: Denver Film Society, CO
Nov 19: Bear Tooth Theatrepub, Anchorage AK
Nov 24: Third Street Theater, Phoenix Center for the Arts, AZ
Nov 25 and 28: Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL
© 2013 Cinemad Presents