Don Hertzfeldt is an artist, animator and independent filmmaker. His cartoons have been awarded over 250 times. They have been described as some of the most influential, vital and expressive animation films of the millennium.
The work of Hertzfeldt is marked by hand-drawn stick figures, traditionally created with pen and paper, and it employs old-fashioned special effect techniques such as multiple exposures and experimental photography. His drawings are combined with tragicomedy, black humor and surrealism stories.
In January 2015, Hertzfeldt’s first digitally-animated short film, World of Tomorrow, was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival as the Grand Jury Prize. While in 2016, has been nominated at the 88th Academy Awards as Animated Short Film.
This short animated film is a science fiction vision of a future where the digital age and reality are connected via “Outernet”, a neural network that is a technologically advanced version of the Internet. All begins when little Emily answers a call of its communication unit.
Her face is asymmetrical, her teeth are a little ‘crooked, but they make her look younger (although a little vampire) and, at the age of 29, she already has some expression wrinkle. Kirsten Dunst, who won as best Actress at the last film festival of Cannes for her performance in Melancholia of Divon Trier, declares that it is the perfection to scare her and that it’s not fair to correct wrinkles andpimples with digital techniques to role in a film towards the audience. Sometimes it is better to accept ourselves as we are.
She remembers that when she was a young girl, her mother always scolded her because she never valued her lips enough, which were too pale and thin. For this reason Dunst, does not go out without putting a beautiful lipstick. About the teeth, they have become a way to find out who is the real friend.
She said: “When people ask me why I didn’t repair my teeth, I get angry a lot. If I wanted to do it, I would have done, so why get bored if the other note my imperfection? Hollywood is already full of plastic and identical people,I don’t want to be one of them. ”
Gomorra is a 2008 Italian movie directed by Matteo Garrone, based on the famous book by Roberto Saviano. It talks about the Casalesi clan, a crime syndicate within the Camorra. This film make us understand how great is Camorra’ influence in the everyday life, above all in Naples. Matteo Garrone used a particular way to direct the film. Hand-held shot, the use of not-professional actors, ambient sounds, grainy pictures, dark scenes make the film imperfect but more realistic.
If we consider the truthfulness adressed to low quality videos, it comes with no surprises that this sort of choice has been widely used for producing several films, particularly the horror ones. Here there are two instances of horror films, both based on the use of low quality tools of filming: “Paranormal Activity 4” and “The fourth kind”.
The first one is the sequel of the “Paranormal Activity” film series and it is obviously a fake documentary, set in November 2011. The plot is about a girl, Alex (Kathryn Newton), obsessed by a supernatural presence, manifested in her house when a new family moved into the neighborhood. The teenager connects the phenomena to a kid who likes to make jokes, but decides to film everything with a camera.
The second one (“The fourth kind”) purports to be based on actual events occurring in Nome, Alaska in 2000, in which psychologist Dr. Abigail Emily “Abbey” Tyler uses hypnosis to uncover memories of alien abduction from her patients, and finds evidence suggesting that she may have been abducted as well. The film has two components: dramatization, in which professional actors portray the individuals involved, and video footage purporting to show the actual victims undergoing hypnosis. (At some points in the film, the “actual” and dramatized footage is presented alongside each other in split-screen.)
“Employing fragile and trembling aesthetic representations, Bill Morrison’s Decasia (2002) celebrates the precarious nature of cinema. Rather than impoverishing the images, the stains on the film renders them precious, something like the wrinkles that time traces on a face.” Web Aesthetics, p. 163-164.
“Julien Marie’s Low Resolution Cinema (2005)31 is an abstract vision of the geopolitical space of the city of Berlin. Through a series of expedients, among which is the drastic lowering of the resolution, Marie aims at decompressing the image in a 3-D space. A special projector realized by two semi-broken black-and-white Liquid Crystal Displays is used to show only the upper or the lower part of the image, which is constantly moving closer and further from the projector lamp, which itself also moves back and forth. The resulting image is so damaged that it evokes the scrolling matrix code seen in The Matrix, or the tight characters produced on the scroll of a dot matrix printer. In Low Resolution Cinema the perfection of the image becomes a shaded memory, but the magic of cinema, that illusion produced by moving images, remains absolutely intact.” Web Aesthetics, p. 163.
“Brian de Palma’s Redacted (2007) explores the ‘truth not truth’ of video and cinematic images. The film’s long opening scene is paradigmatic: the classic cinematic move of a smooth ‘coming down’ from the sky is overlapped by the classic handycam image of the date of the shooting. Following this is a title in a semi-professional graphic, while the colloquial voice-over of a soldier (who is also the film’s protagonist) states that he is the author of the recording itself; after which a highly amateurish tracking shot ends with the protagonists looking collectively into the camera, and finally with a freeze-frame. As a whole, De Palma’s film feels like a mix of reality and fiction: Hollywood DV footage, YouTube clips, wannabe documentaries and parodies of independent cinema. Here, the director of Scarface has captured a phenomenon that has radically changed the aesthetic perception of the cinema viewer, alternating and superimposing classic cinema aesthetics with the booming DIY digital aesthetic. In addition, the film’s subject is the war in Iraq, and this aesthetic seems equal to a situation in which ‘embedded’ journalists give the public the ‘truth’ in ostensibly unofficial shots attained by ‘brave’ reporters risking their lives. Low-resolution images of the Iraq war are usually considered true, especially those taken by mobile phone cameras or otherwise tiny hidden cameras.” Web Aesthetics, p. 162-163.
“We could continue to find a justification for each time a director has decided not to shoot on film, yet it is obvious that these are aesthetic choices that have nothing to do with the finances available to the production.” Web Aesthetics, p. 162.