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Return of the Revenge of the WTF Wednesday of the Dead: Don Hertzfeldt

By
Posted on September 4, 2013 AT 11:57pm

Yes, kiddies, WTF Wednesday is back from the dead! And to celebrate, we’re going to a very dark place: Into the mind of animator/director Don Hertzfeldt.

If you–like myself–are a purveyor of the strange, you have likely seen Don’s Academy Award nominated short ‘REJECTED’. REJECTED is a great example of the kind of work that Hertzfeldt tends to release. It’s dark, witty, bizarre, funny, and often surreal. Sometimes, his spoon is too big.

Don started animating at the age of 15, and to this day it has been his only source of income. He’s released numerous animations and so far has never hit the same theme twice.

During his college days, he created four films: Ah, L’Amour; Genre; Lily and Jim; and Billy’s Balloon. See them all below!

Ah, L’Amour (1995)

 

Genre (1996)

 

Lily and Jim (1997)

 

Billy’s Balloon (1998)

 

These four animations brought Don enough funding to produce his first post-film college short, REJECTED. This is, without a doubt, his most well known short. Rightfully so, because it’s just so… Unexplainable. Sure, I can give you a synopsis, but seeing it in action is something different entirely.

REJECTED is about a fictional version of Don Hertzfeldt, who is showing us his reel of rejected commercial and TV show bumpers. The constant rejection of his work causes him to have a nervous breakdown, in turn making the world of the characters in the reel fall apart. Warning: Contains inappropriate language, large spoons, talking bananas, and severe rectal bleeding.

REJECTED (2000)

 

His releases after this aren’t quite as full of black humor and fall more on the side of surrealism of a thought-provoking nature. They’re still odd, but in a totally different way.

The Meaning of Life (2005)

 

His most recently released project was a trilogy of short films–Everything will be OK, I Am So Proud of You, and It’s Such a Beautiful Day–follow a character named Bill through his life and struggles with a mental disorder. They have, since their original release, been edited into a feature film and re-released as It’s Such a Beautiful Day. You can actually digitally purchase it on Vimeo for a mere two bucks! Here’s the trailer, at least:

 

And to wrap it all with a pretty bow [which you may feel free to unravel], here’s his 2009 short Wisdom Tooth, which was released after the Beautiful Day trilogy, but before said trilogy became a feature film.

Wisdom Teeth [Visdüm Tooten]

 

I hope this week’s WTF Wednesday left you in stitches! [But please don't pull them out]

Bryan Todd [aka DieselBT] -- This is where I'm supposed to say something clever about myself. Let's pretend I did, and it conveniently mentions all of my top interests, such as anime, video games, crazy gadgets, electronic music, voice acting, sound editing, and countless other ridiculously fascinating topics. I also like to write stuff about things, which is why I'm here.

...That, and I like your shirt.


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