May 27 to 30, 2015
„An animated film is not just a series of mindless, violent, self-indulgent cartoon images meant only to be enjoyed by young children and people with mental handicaps, but is a serious, valid art form all to itself in which the artist is free to experience its purity.“ Thus speaks a saucy cloud creature, shortly before the robots attack: a bloody sci-fi scene, designed in the typical Don Hertzfeldt arrangement of spidery lines, minimalist color and a contrastingly bombastic soundtrack.
Concentrated and extravagant, lovingly detailed and drifting into epic scale, childishly absurd and exploring existential depths: since 1995, the Californian Hertzfeldt (born 1976) has created films of a sort that never really existed before. With the captivating clarity of simple lines on white paper, his early works open up a cosmos of animation that sharply dissects the culture industry, satirically transcending and exposing the catalog of genre standards, the conventions of "dating TV” and gruesomely infantile children's programming. Hertzfeldt's first high point came with Rejected (2000), a diabolical, Academy Award-nominated collection of the artist's attempts to work in (and sabotage) children's television and advertising.
With The Meaning of Life (2005), the trilogy It's Such a Beautiful Day (2006-12) and Hertzfeldt's newest work, World of Tomorrow (2015), the oeuvre expands further. These are epochal portraits of the human condition, but they still adhere to a minimalist form. Exhibiting an astonishing power of immersion, this type of arte povera is able to conjure the entire universe, the future and the quarries of memory upon the screen. Rarely does animated cinema speak so transparently about its own modus operandi while at the same time allowing us to forget that we are only watching the movement of drawn lines.
This program, presented in cooperation with VIS Vienna Independent Shorts, presents an overview of the artist's works for the first time in Austria. Also, within the framework of a master class, Don Hertzfeldt will present a lecture on his creative process, his work on "The Simpsons" and the graphic novel, "The End of the World". He will also screen his latest work, "World of Tomorrow," premiered this year at Sundance.