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Follow Up: An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt

April 29, 2010
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Last Friday I had the good fortune to be able to attend An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt at the packed Kabuki Theater, as part of the 53rd installment of our renowned San Francisco International Film Festival. Barely finding a spot on time, and barely getting a spot in the back (the staff were very accommodating in seeking out seating in the dark) it became apparent how much of a cult phenomenon the work of Bitter Films has become.

What is it about his seemingly simplistic stick figures and non-sequitur humor that strikes a chord in so many of our generation? I like to think that it’s because it takes us back to the days where we would sit in class and stare at the clock, stare out the window, stare at (what should be) notes… and then you would make yourself something to really look at- a doodle in the margin. Sometimes they’re meaningless, pen marks like a dog digging in the dirt. Sometimes they would be of your teacher- a thing you knew would piss them off if they walked over and saw it. Sometimes it would be someone’s name, perhaps your own. It would be a nice way to distract yourself, to get your head diahhrea out on the page, and even temporarily share a laugh with those suffering around you.
Hertzfeldt’s work is refreshingly cathartic: he goes where we’ve all been and, literally, lays it all out on the table. “The subconscious is like a party that you’re not invited to- but once in a while you get to peek through the curtain,” explains the softspoken scruffy Fremont native between takes of choatic herds of creatures, babies being beaten, bananas, universal hopelessness, and lots of bleeding gums and anuses. He’s like the jerk friend who laughs at your tears, who you momentarily get mad at until you realize the absurdity of your seeming self-importance and that, hey, he’s got issues too man. Then you both crack a beer and stare out the window, smiling.

from the wonderfully disgusting new short, Wisdom Teeth
2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2010 2:30 am

    Will always have a perverse soft spot in my heart for "Billy's Balloon" — the first film of his I ever saw, effed me all up!

  2. April 30, 2010 2:30 am

    Will always have a perverse soft spot in my heart for "Billy's Balloon" — the first film of his I ever saw, effed me all up!

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