Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Such A Beautiful Day

by Drew Martin
Before I rave about Don Hertzfeldt's minimally animated It's Such A Beautiful Day, I just want to write that my very active and brilliant/on-the-spectrum seven-year-old son, Miles, usually experiences movies by half watching them and half playing a video game, working on a project, or running around the house. When I turned on It's Such A Beautiful Day, he came over, stood next to me (I was ironing), and watched the entirety of the hour-long trilogy movie without leaving the room. He was transfixed, and could not take his eyes off it. I have never seen him so captivated. And just now, the morning after, he reminded me of a boxing scene in the film.

It's Such A Beautiful Day (the trilogy including Everything Will Be OK, I Am So Proud of You, and It's Such a Beautiful Day
scored a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, and has been called one of the best animated films of all time. It is both silly and profound, and feels as if the film itself is a living thing, experiencing strokes and seizures, good and bad acid trips, life and death.

This felt like a very familiar film, and when I saw certain scenes, like a detail of waves crashing on rocks, I thought I recognized them, but knew this could be anywhere. It turns out that Hertzfeldt also studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, so they might have been the very same rocks I know from where the campus juts out into the Pacific Ocean. I even briefly entertained that perhaps my own minimal cartoons, which ran in the school's daily newspaper, specifically Bovina, had some influence on him, but then I realized there was no overlap: I graduated in the winter of 1991, and he finished in 1998. That being said, what I feel in his film is the free-flow creativity of the arts and film students at UCSB, which I loved and by which/whom I was encouraged to share an inner life.