Monday, December 03, 2007

Muriel Awards 2007 FYC #9

Best DVD release: Everything Will Be OK (Bitter Films)

DVD has become so firmly established in our cultural landscape in the last decade that it's a little miraculous that there are great films that still haven't been released in the format. 2007 found such classic titles as Army of Shadows, O Lucky Man!, Ace in the Hole, and Fassbinder's mammoth Berlin Alexanderplatz released on region 1 DVD for the first time, and all would be worthy contenders for this award. So naturally I'd like to take this opportunity to stump for Don Hertzfeldt's Everything Will Be OK. As was the case with the DVD of Hertzfeldt's previous short films, entitled Bitter Films vol. 1, the Everything DVD contains hundreds of sketches and test animations from Hertzfeldt's vault, from the genesis of the project to the final stages. But the real reason it's here is because of the film itself, quite possibly the best film of any year that I saw for the first time in '07. Anyone who has followed Don's career to date was prepared for his latest film's high level of quality, but I don't think anyone anticipated the sheer emotional punch it would pack. Moreover, at a time when more directors are applying the scruffy aesthetic of garage rock to cinema, Hertzfeldt is at the leading edge of DIY moviemaking, drawing every frame himself, aiding in the sound mix, narrating the story, and even self-distributing the movie on DVD (available at this point only through Hertzfeldt's own Bitter Films web site for a scant $12!). Everything Will Be OK is a stunning achievement for these reasons and many more. Those of you who've seen the film actually know this; those who haven't would be advised to pick up the DVD, give it a spin, and recognize.

1 comment:

Adam Villani said...

Saw this introduced by Hertzfeldt himself. It was great, it didn't top REJECTED, but I don't see how that could possibly be done.