Daily Distraction: The AV Club visits Don Hertzfeldt's 'World of Tomorrow'
Most people are probably familiar with Don Hertzfeldt from the animator's first short, "Rejected," from 2000, a surreal, hilarious affair that included giant spoons, talking bananas and numerous dancing, cotton-ball-like creatures.
Since then, Hertzfeldt has only cemented his standing as a true original, crafting a series of graceful, wrenching animated films, including "It's Such a Beautiful Day" and the ongoing "World of Tomorrow" series. Even when he turned up animating a 2014 couch gag for "The Simpsons," there was no mistaking the strange, emotionally resonant final product for the work of anyone else (see below).
Most recently, Hertzfeldt released the third part in his "World of Tomorrow" series, "Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime," and sat down for an interview with the AV Club to discuss the film.
"I might have said this before, but what’s interesting to me about the technology of the 'World Of Tomorrow' movies is, when we say we want to live forever — in the generic sense — it’s actually very specific," Hertzfeldt said in response to a question about his dual fascinations with time and memory. "Because if I was like, 'Okay, you could live forever, but you’ve got to be rebooted. Blank your memory, and then you can live another 10 years, and then we’re blanking again, right?' If that was the process, that’s not attractive. You realize that what makes you 'you' is your memories, your experiences, everything that’s saved back there. It’s less interesting, then, to be blank. That’s terrifying. That’s a form of death. Without that, what form of personality would I have left?"