Now is the envy of all of the dead: an introduction to Don Hertzfeldt, the animator
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This thesis is a primer on the experimental independent animator Don Hertzfeldt, whose filmography—described by one critic as “a singular universe of stick figures in crisis”—has for more than two decades been engaging some of the larger questions of post-millennial existence, particularly with regard to consciousness, temporality, and death. First, I will briefly introduce who Hertzfeldt is as an auteur (where he comes from, where his primary interests lie, and what his impact has been); second, I will provide an overview of the historical context in which his oeuvre should be placed (i.e. the history of animation and of experimental cinema); third, I will closely analyze his work, examining questions of style and narrative, starting from his student films and continuing to his more recent films; and fourth, I will explore some of the philosophical implications of recurring Hertzfeldtian motifs and themes (particularly with regard to consciousness, temporality, and death) before concluding.
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