The main character and a few of the film’s scenarios were developed from short comic strips and sketches Don Hertzfeldt made in 1999-2000 for his website while working on other film projects. The film tells the story of Bill, a lonely everyman whose daily routines, perceptions, and dreams are all illustrated onscreen via multiple split-screen windows. Bill’s mundane life, narrated in several humorous and dramatic anecdotes, very gradually grows dark and terrifying as he appears to be suffering from a possibly fatal mental disorder. It becomes harder to tell what is a hallucination and what is not. The split-screen windows and layered audio tracks slowly battle for attention on screen and begin to smother Bill (and the audience). The film illustrates the struggle many people have with mental illness, in the inherent difficulty in deciding which muddled thought or distracted perception is most important and should be paid attention to. Meanwhile, suddenly faced with the possible end of his life, Bill struggles and philosophizes over his seemingly meaningless existence. —Wikipedia
Don Hertzfeldt (born August 1, 1976) is the creator of many short animated films, including the Academy-Award nominated Rejected and Everything Will Be OK. His animated films have received over one hundred and fifty awards and have been presented around the world. Before the age of thirty, his films were already the subject of several career retrospectives. He was the youngest director named in the “They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They” list of “The 100 Important Animation Directors” of all time, and in 2010 he received the San Francisco International Film Festival’s “Persistence of Vision” Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 33.
The popularity of Hertzfeldt’s work is unprecedented in the history of independent animation and his films are frequently quoted and referenced in pop culture. In 2009, the Sundance Film Festival noted, “If cinephiles think shorts don’t generate the same sort of hype and fanbase as feature films, they obviously haven’t heard of Don Hertzfeldt.”
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An immensely beautiful and disturbingly bleak short from the mind of a truly innovative genius.
"bill daydreamed about all the brains in jars he used to see at school. how he used to wonder whether there were still somehow pieces of individuals inside, scattered fragments of partial dreams or lost memories locked deep within that dead tissue."