27 of 366: It’s Such a Beautiful Day

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nytimes.com

It’s Such a Beautiful Day felt like a bit of a cheat to watch since it’s only an hour long, but it’s just as much of a cinematic — and emotional — experience as most feature films present in double that amount of time.

The animated film by Don Hertzfeldt centers on several facets of a character named Bill during various experiences and stages of his life.

It’s a combination of three of Hertzfeldt’s short films, explaining the different presentations of Bill, that explores fear, science, dreams, mortality, life, death, relationships and more. Some of it hit a little close to home for me and I imagine that will be the case for most viewers because of the variety of themes in the film.

The animation, and the transition between Bill’s experiences, reminded me of the cartoon flip books I had when I was a kid. Hertzfeldt mixes his stick figure drawings of Bill with moving images of nature and depictions of his and other character’s dreams that shift between the look of paintings and photography.

It’s all over the place, but in a good way, and Hertzfeldt’s narration of Bill’s life adds to it a dry sense of humor, happiness and sadness all at the same time.

His new short film, World of Tomorrow, is nominated for an Oscar and I can’t wait to see it and other projects from his collection.

Landmark Theatres has screenings of the Oscar nominated live action and animated films, including in Minneapolis if that’s your home base, next week.

 

In the meantime, watch It’s Such a Beautiful Day (streaming on Netflix.) It’s an animated stream of consciousness or, as Hertzfeldt says in the film, “an infinite landscape of simultaneous events,” that you won’t be able to forget.

 

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