The amount of lateness on this is too damn high. I’ll be lucky if Nathaniel R. posts this on his Hit Me with Your Best Shot page, but it’d serve me right for not participating in forever. I still have too much stuff to do here in New York and I’ll keep trying my hardest to be a regular poster.
Still missing this – even if I’m late to the party – was not a goddamn option. I found out one of the two short films assigned was the dazzling and depressing Don Hertzfeldt miracle that is World of Tomorrow, one of my favorite movies from last year and a perfet piece of animation and short visual storytelling from top to bottom. And while we’re at it, voice acting – both Julia Pott as Emily from the Future AND Winona Mae as Emily Prime are able foils for each other and imbue different personalities into the cold and disarming revelations World of Tomorrow makes about society and technology and humanity. I mean, really, I reviewed the damn thing so you ought to know how much I love it. If you are into animation, you better be into Hertzfeldt and if you are into Hertzfeldt, you better watch it on Netflix or Vimeo.
Anyway, I’m gonna do something crazy and go ahead and use this an excuse to show a number of shots I love from it. Why? Because my first choice was from the very end of the the 16 minute short.
But I’ve noticed I have a habit of picking shots from either end in this series and I kind of want to grow out of it. Still it is at once a funny moment to me – calling back on the inconsistencies and risks of time travel that future Emily pointed out – and a pretty horrifying one… this little girl is going to be accidentally left to fucking die after all of that.
Most of all… she’s not afraid. She has that stupid simple smile to add to the simplicity of the character that Mae and Hertzfeldt’s animation style add. It’s an image and possibility that lingered well after I saw this. By the way to note, I’ve seen this short enough times to memorize it, so all these shots are coming from memory.
Anyway, I considered this next bit that actually feels remarkably Spielbergian in its ethereal center, not least due to its context of a memory being unwittingly granted to someone for their final comfort.
It also features all the visual elements that make this standout from other Hertzfeldt works. The bright and bold colors, the sleekness of the design with just enough imperfect angles or shapes to show that all is not well.
But alas even that was not my pick for best shot.
I cheated instead and picked two that happen immediately after one another that help add to the existential dread of Hertzfeldt’s whole opus. They are not the shots that make the biggest impression of this (frankly I think Tim Brayton at Antagony and Ecstasy picked the best damn shot) but…
They do promise the viewer that even when humanity has “advanced” and made achievements that were once dreams, you’re not much to the stars:
And you’re still going to end up underground in the end:
Man, ain’t that movie a joy?!
Anyway, we’ll be moving on from all that to Stephen Zlotescu short True Skin, which is a first-time watch for me.
And maybe I’ve just seen enough future noir type of stuff but I wasn’t too impressed – it was obviously made to show off the visual effects but the effects aren’t exactly anywhere to write home about where there’s such an obvious separation between the frame and the neon robotic elements keyed into one’s face – and I don’t see myself revisiting it any time soon. At least it’s garish color and worth a look at on Vimeo. It’s literally five minutes, so yeah. Go ahead. It’s pretty enough maybe I just finally went through sci-fi fatigue.
It would at least explain the attitude behind my pick, which comes from the very end because I will be lazy for this even if I’m not lazy for WOT.
Of course our future head computers will have advertisements bombarding us because fuck us, right?!