Globally recognized as World of Tomorrow, the successor to the marvelous and recommended film It’s Such a Beautiful Day brought us back to one of the most interesting film directors of today, a period of time that will cease to have value for the reader who can reach this article in, for example, 10 years.
While Don Hertzfeldt is still working on his next project (leaving small gifts on his social media and expected to exceed an hour in length), we revisit the words we dedicated to his previous work, which we talked about some time ago when it premiered online through the video platform Vimeo. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should do so as soon as possible. You won’t regret the final result.
Don Hertzfeldt’s Previous Work
Within the mind of Don Hertzfeldt lies something that many filmmakers possess, but not at a level, in my opinion, of this caliber: a vast personal universe and hands with the incredible capacity to develop it with minimal limitations. It’s been 20 years since Hertzfeldt made his first short film (Ah, L’Amour), and since then, there have been several who have been drawn to and captivated by Don Hertzfeldt’s imaginative, delirious, and dark universe. Over the years, beneath his seemingly simple animation, he has revealed a unique perspective and sense of humor. His work consistently increases in quality, becoming more enriched and featuring situations whose reflections strangely penetrate our minds, capturing our attention with their format and essence.
In 2012, under the title It’s Such a Beautiful Day, Hertzfeldt would create his first feature film, actually a compilation of the shorts Everything Will Be Ok (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011). A wonderful narrative and the definitive confirmation of his talent. If Bill—the protagonist of the three shorts—already made us feel we were dealing with a multi-dimensional person rich in nuances, contrary to his appearance, it’s now time for Emily and the short film “World of Tomorrow.”
World of Tomorrow: Very Proud of Our Sadness
With a duration of 16 minutes, the director himself states that “World of Tomorrow” was born as an exercise to teach himself the basic concepts of digital animation. In summary, this is his first work drawn exclusively on a tablet and not on paper. An experiment that hasn’t prevented him from maintaining his distinctive aesthetic identity, nor has it hindered the development of his thoughts as usual.
Emily is a girl from the present who will be contacted by a woman from the future. The beginning and end of the plot. From here, entry into the future: a unique imagination and a broad palette of sensations, concerns, and ideas told with overwhelming ease and with some simple humorous phrases that make us feel like children in the face of vastness. A spontaneous final result, born from the artist’s hard work in adapting to the medium, but with the intention of carrying it out differently.
A separate mention for Emily Prime. If Bill was a more than convincing human being in It’s Such a Beautiful Day, Emily manages to be one of the most amusing and endearing children this writer has ever seen in cinema, not counting Japanese animation, of course. Portrayed by the author’s 4-year-old niece, she recorded her improvised lines while drawing alongside her uncle and discussing other things in the world.
The voice of the woman from the future is provided by illustrator Julia Pott. Some of the best moments also come from her character, as she’s the one who speaks the most. Yes, she speaks from the future, a future that, as is often the case in the best science fiction movies, is shown to be very close, in an existential, metaphysical, evocative, and sad manner. So much so that it’s both chilling and captivating at times, liberating and alluring at others, but always fascinating, as in any of its forms, we can be proud of our sadness: it means we are more alive, and our memories are the closest thing to an eternal soul that we have.
Lovers of animation films and those who call them “cartoon movies,” come closer to this work and experience what it’s like to see something so small become so grand. Truly, it deserves it, and like his previous works, it’s open to multiple viewings. Who wouldn’t want to live in the Outernet…
I reviewed, liked and rated World of Tomorrow on Tuesday Mar 31, 2015
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.