july 21 2012 the cat who thinks he lives here is terrified of thunder. at the first sign of a storm he hides in a bush or crawls low to the ground to hide behind my legs, shaking, making little chrips. he never gets used to it. the other cat who thinks he lives here is totally unfazed by thunder and doesn't even seem to notice it at all. so fear of thunder is not a universal cat thing. cat 1 is apparently inventing his own unique feelings of danger towards the big loud noises where there was no original cat instinct to be afraid: even when it is no longer a rational or new fear, since thunder has proven thus far to not be harmful to him.
doesn't this suggest that he has an imagination? that he is projecting something irrational and scary that might come to get him?
human imagination supposedly evolved from fear: fear of the dark and of the unknown and of big scary noises invented bigger monsters in our heads that kept us inside of our caves and early mammal burrows at night, safely out of the jaws of nocturnal predators or plunging from dark cliffs.
july 13 at the supermarket today the strawberries were marked "limited edition"
when i was walking through my front door with my tripod i had a vision of me walking through the front door very old. and i had a vision you were very old and in florida
we've been doing a series of screenings of the "everything will beok" films in japan. google translate does not help me very much with these audience responses we are receiving, but i really can't stop reading them. i like these so much better than the regular english reviews:
- The roar of a Film Festival being held in Bausushiata, will be screened the first time in Japan, "What a nice day", the latest work of the trilogy "all okay Kit" Don Felt Hearts! ! Was just completed in the spring of this year yet, Kanketsuhen of the story of the building.
- "Hearts say yeah yeah felt roar! !"
- " Don felt Hearts sold out brochure rainy day ..."
- " We have seen Hearts trilogy felt. Can not think of anything in an absent sort of way. I leave the soul. I've seen the limits of the brain"
- " Hearts felt I wonder, Bill was the universe, the head can not keep up, I wonder what! ! Only once in what I do not! ! Chapter 1 and 2 are also delicious - I look many times"
-" Watch Hearts trilogy screenings felt a roar. I saw a great sense of Nye also outrageous."
- "We have seen in the anime called bow Don Felt Hearts. Up from the expected value did great success, enjoyed accordingly."
- "Left brain ... has moved gradually. Trilogy, about a shock, shock was "all right kit" Don Felt Hearts. Was too terrible. But I do not want to write yet I finished swallowing and chewing it "was good", because there is no change to the bad impression this should, Yappari, was good to come."
- "Felt Hearts, Truly full human! !"
- "Part 1 part 2 is there seen that somewhere before, but at that time did not come with pins. Love!"
- "3 Hearts trilogy felt I had to look at it 's such I die someday, too. Rather than pessimism. The final narration that Usobui only. Some people lose their shape also someday be forgotten universe. But you know, counsel me gently at the same time also be a human descendant of "now" that this society is formed subsequently born in mind and I certainly do not form by"
-"Hearts roar is felt, was an enormous sense of immersion. It, (or what I had seen up to now) ... this scene was like Kke. Deployment of the final chapter ... and a little surprising. Or look a bit crossed my mind ... magic window."
-"We saw the animated movie called Don Hertz felt depressed, salaried workers next door I have cried tears holding, face full of super movie euphoria all the people who come out! Frail human life is Please do not look so want to die violently!"
- "Was a warm movie that scale can not believe the outline of the man of Hearts trilogy building felt, of a slender person is to talk about the thickness of the life out gradually, that would have led to the world beyond. Showing great signs of a building filled with around through the roar."
july 8 if i were telling you a story and said, "so this guy is walking down the street and he's going, dum dee dum dee dum, when an air conditioner suddenly falls from an apartment building and nearly hits him," how is it you immediately know what i'm talking about when i say "dum dee dum dee dum?" where does "dum dee dum dee dum" come from? who was the first person to use those musical notes to illustrate a conversation, and how was he understood? is this from early cinema when everyone's actions were scored? was it from earlier, when people would maybe whistle as they walked? discuss.
i have been shooting a couple of little things around town for the upcoming dvd's menus, and one of the things came out looking unusually great and gave me an idea... we've been making plans to bring the three "everything will be ok" films back into theaters this fall, newly edited together as a feature film, and now i think it will also include this shot nobody has seen yet.
commercial on TV for kids cereal, showing all the cereal bits whizzing around in space. tiny disclaimer below: "not a flying cereal"
june 26 i've found some old footage from 2006 originally shot and intended for the "volume 1" dvd, but deemed to be not good enough. i can confirm now that it is also not good enough for "volume 2".
i'm hoping this thing can be ready to go in just a few more months. in other news, sleep is boring and overrated and i have no use for it.
june 23 anytime in conversation when somebody says, "not to _____," they are about to do just that.
any trip to an antique store between two people will consist of them each saying "you should totally buy this," neither of them ever serious
you always see people in the stands at basketball games cheer and stand up and give each other high fives, as if they just did something
june 6 it's getting hot. still slugging in front of the computer every day re-remastering these films. they are looking surprising and amazing, i am noticing things in the older titles now that i've never seen before, but it really drives your eyes sort of batty and i can't wait to be finished.
last night i wanted to color correct the sky because it was too magenta. i want to make an insect documentary. today i saw venus crossing the sun. i need to mow the lawn. the neighbors on either side have just mowed and now i sort of look like the neighborhood animal. i've heard "beautiful day" won another award the other night, the golden zagreb award for innovative artistic achievement at animafest in croatia. please have a drink on my behalf and say something awkward to a beautiful woman.
i think these pants sharnk. sharnk. SHRANK. SHARK! PANTS SHARK! RUN! BUT RUNNING DOES NO GOOD
may 21 work has spread to giving all three films in the trilogy a fresh HD remastering pass, cleaning more bits of dirt, improving colors, telecine jiggle, fixing little lab problems never noticed before, blah blah blah. i have a new computer here dedicated to all this work, which has the unique distinction of being both incredibly boring and extremely complicated. i get frustated very easily at the software but rest assured by the time i'm done it will all look mostly sort of good, with not too many scenes accidentally deleted. the days are very short while sitting around doing this stuff, easy to get locked in dull routines and suddenly you are waking up every morning and thinking, like, what, i have to feed myself again? soon this will be done and i can get to work on the more fun things on the dvd maybe.
the neighborhood cats keep dismantling birds on my front lawn. every other morning there is a new dove head and wing. i doubt the one i call bucket is the guy doing the killing because he is mostly sort of sleepy. bucket always shows up to eat the remains though. he looks sort of ashamed as he does it, like "well i guess i gotta eat this now"
many years ago when i would go to the grocery store and only needed a couple of things i would always try and find at least three things to buy. sometimes i would have to look hard for buying a third thing, or just buy nothing at all. because if i bought only one thing i was afraid the checkout person would think, "wow he must have really needed THIS." and if i bought two things i was afraid she would think, "i guess he is going to go home and somehow use THIS with THIS." buying things in numbers of three and up though and i'd be in the clear. i don't think i do this anymore.
may 9 saw the avengers. so many movies would be improved if the hulk just showed up in the third act and started smashing shit up
it's been hot and sleepless here, with spectacular thunderstorms all week. am about two weeks now into work on the new DVD, digital remastering trenches on "beautiful day" right now, cleaning up bits of dirt and stuff, patching up random old odds and ends of chapters 1 and 2, and replacing all the characters with photorealistic three-dimensional smirking animals. actually i can't remember if i've already mentioned this, but we're going to seamlessly link all three chapters together for the first time by knocking off the end credts of 1 and 2, thus creating a... uh, well, longer thing. there's also a load of homework to do for the rest of the new DVD, deciding which bells and whistles to include and which things are better left buried out in the yard, but i think i am somewhat ahead of schedule on all this stuff. if there were actually a schedule. i have run into one interesting dilemma with the clean-up work for "beautiful day," in that there were maybe four or five little hairs stuck at the very top of my camera gate through maybe two rolls of film, just barely poking into the frame. they're not distracting, but if you look up, they're there. they appear in maybe a dozen shots in the movie. it would be very easy to crop them out but cropping any shot would be bad, and so the usual solution here is to carefully paint them out with a tricky matte or a meticulous clone stamp... which i've slowly been doing... but at the same time realizing, and this will sound strange, that i kind of LIKE those hairs in a few of the shots. maybe i've just gotten used to seeing them in theaters, but they break up the space kind of nicely in some scenes and i like how they're frequently sort of just hanging ominously over bill.
so at least as of tonight, i think i'm actually going to just leave a few of them in the movie. i've never heard of camera gate hair being used as a creative choice before. and no doubt in 100 years from now people may think, wow he must have spent a lot of money digitally creating those amazing fake camera gate hairs for his visual metaphor. but now you will know the real story.
may 5 reading "believing is seeing," by errol morris
april 30 "there's only one way to make a beginning, and that is to begin" - jack london
april 29 it's really good to be home. there's so much work to do. somehow last night in my sleep i managed to completely remove the pillowcase from my pillow
hello from minneapolis where i somehow found myself in the mall of america which is a pretty great mall if you wished ordinary shopping malls had more crushing existentialism and the constant echoing screams of people on rides.
i finally slept great the last couple of nights
april 19 hi from the memphis airport, the screening last night felt really good, maybe the best q&a of the tour, and nashville also went well a couple days ago though i have to admit i can barely remember any of it now, let alone most of the screenings immediately prior to that one. unless i think very hard about something very specific to each town it is all just a bright impression of faces and stage lights, haven't been sleeping well at all this week and dreamt i was in the passenger seat of a car, riding with strangers on a slow street with traffic in the other lane flying by impossibly fast. it was evening and we stopped at a railroad crossing to wait for a train, about a dozen cars from the tracks, with bored pedestrians milling around the traffic with drinks, wandering, arguing, a vague sense of unease among them, and as the bullet train thunders closer we notice a handful of teenagers gathered along the crossing, jumping back and forth across the tracks, thrillseekers getting ready to dodge the train at just the last moment! they all leap together as the train flies past and it narrowly misses all but one, a young man who's yanked under in a flash of steam: jesus christ, jesus christ!, someone in the car is shouting as the teenager's friends, hooting and hollering, hoist the top half of his severed torso, still alive for a moment, bleeding and disemboweling all over the pavement. we sit there frozen and stunned with our hands over our eyes as the pedestrians, having faced the wrong way, carry on with their drinks and disagreements, oblivious to the evening, and i think "i've had just about enough of this," and consciously withdraw from the dream and wake up too early in a city i can't remember.
april 18 memphis and madison have both sold out in advance: this leaves the very last stop on the tour, minneapolis, as the only city left with tickets still available. EVERYBODY DRIVE TO MINNEAPOLIS
april 17 oatmeal cake with caramel and vanilla ice cream in bell buckle, TN.
hello from charlotte. a big bike race is scheduled for today so the roads are closed and people are playing tubas. i took a bus to find something to do, and a guy in a suit eating cheese poofs with orange fingers said he was crying on the inside so i gave him two dollars.
it's gotten to where i can't remember what any of the hotel rooms looked like from last week, which theaters on the tour were which, or what city i will be in tomorrow. the airports, hotels, and theater lobbies are all just a hurtling blur of sameness now and i usually need a landmark or specific event to jog any memory of what a theater or town looked like from just a day or two ago.
i happily haven't needed to take a sleeping pill in a few weeks now, bringing ear plugs everywhere has been magic. if you drive each plug deep enough into your ear canals, they will put direect pressure on either side of the brain, which knocks you straight out. ITS GREATE. in strange new hotel rooms night after night though, they really have become a must: thin walls and loud tvs, early morning noisy housekeeping, door slams, fire alarms, people screaming "my god my god is there still anyone left in the building," etc.
april 13 sometimes honey nut cheerios taste like blood
april 12 these were from tampa
april 11 airport observation: why do most adult males dress themselves like large toddlers? hello from atlanta where the weather looks beautiful and i am set up in a cozy cottage. the last time i was in atlanta i was downtown a lot, constantly harassed for change by crack addicts at every corner. i then stepped in human poop and had to abandon my converse, wrapped in a plastic bag and apologetically deposited in an anonymous office wastepaper bin as we cut through a hotel lobby. so...... improvement!
april 11 yesterday i asked for a "zip lack bog." :( i guess at least my early signs of dementia are hilarious
april 10 gone for 2 weeks, home for three days, tomorrow back on the road for another 2 weeks. having been on about 30-40 flights in the last six months i am some sort of leathery road warrior now, an efficient packer with knowledge of all exit rows and different airline soda availabilities, video ipod loaded with things to watch on every flight, headphones on and disappear. really looking forward to the tail end of the tour now... was considering adding additional screenings in new cities but realized i was weighing whether or not to add shows by counting how many more flights and connections i'd have to be on, and decided maybe this should be the end. one last round! let's go, see you soon
idea for fossil themed snack food: trilo-bites. they're PREHISTDELICIOUS
april 6 hello from jacksonville: one more show tonight, then home for just a couple days before yet another two weeks back out on the road. the q&a chat in gainesville last night felt kinda abbreviated and strange.
the last few days i have also learned from various news articles that: "rejected" was real (wow), "wisdom teeth" is in german (had no idea), and that my films are "widely criticized for being misogynistic" (wait, what??). i hope to reach the end of this strange dimension we're drifting through soon. still, florida has been really great for this:
WILSON! WILLLSOOOON!! I'M SORRY, WILSON! WILSON I'M SORRY!
snake legs and thunder elk
april 3 2:43am from new york to boston, where i'd never been before but unfortunately only had one day, so my boston experience has been confined to a two block radius. but a thumbs-up to your trader joe's down the street. i DJ'ed the preshow music live tonight from my ipod and mostly did not screw up. from one hotel room to the next, tomorrow is florida. my collection of little sample size shampoo and conditioner bottles grows.
in NY julia took this pic for my new photoblog series in which i get angry at different foods
april 1 hi boston, i'm here and something slowly squeaking just rolled past the outside of my door. possibly a cart of some kind or a little bat on foot
march 29 four sold out screenings + one bonus show and we're all done. thanks nyc you were all too kind this week and made me sort of feel like a strange little bird whose head you really wanted to pet
so "wisdom teeth" reportedly caused a nice elderly couple to exit the theater tonight, in horror and dread. is this kind of sad, or a badge of honor? it's a shame it was the very first film in the entire program that did them in. for their evening's entertainment they got about two minutes of horriblenightmare before being driven out of the room. i do try and offend at least one old person in every city, but usually i just sort of push them over and run
march 25 your favorite songs on a sleepless airplane at 7 in the morning sound better than in any other setting. these hotel towels smell like cookies
planted catnip for the neighborhood cats and within an hour it was trampled and shredded to bits. so they don't totally destroy it, i've now become the idiot who chases cats away from catnip
march 20 home for a few more days and then spending a week in NYC, a couple days in boston, and then a drive across florida.
i am so happy there will not be any more snow for the rest of the tour as i've seen too much of it already this year. snow in sundance, snow in cleveland, chicago, snow in toronto, snow in fargo. by snow i mean cocaine
toronto had some amazing bootleg dvd shops, some of them offering titles in ANAPOMIMIC VIDESCREEN and in fargo i got to play the theater's pipe organ! i also forgot my credit card in a bowling alley filled with people in big lebowski costumes with dreams of bigger things.
there are now five new projects i'd love to get off the ground in the next year, and only one of them is a movie.
i am wondering if any of them can ever actually happen.
i've been sort of lazily writing around the house, doing laundry, planting things in the ground, staring at clouds, not sleeping at night thunder tore through the neighborhood a couple of days ago and deeply rattled all the cats who think they live here. i'd started giving one of them concentrated catnip in a sock and after having the initial wild reaction, he would suddenly just sort of lay there totally still, staring off into unblinking nothingness for several minutes ("is he dying?"), and i swear in moments like these he can clearly see the very edge of the universe but he just can't express it, for he is a cat. following the storms last night there was the smallest inchworm you've ever seen dangling on a thread in the night and i shot a video
march 9 beautiful girl with tattoo crying on phone in airport
march 5 it's very cold here in toronto, where the wind sort of cuts through everything you've got. i'm staying in an unusual hindu-themed bed and breakfast, only there is no breakfast but a free-for-all little cabinet downstairs filled with soap, granola bars, and diet sodas. plus a purple bejewelled elephant in the corner of the room. had a solid screening tonight, after which i learned that the new canadian 100 dollar bill is made of plastic and engineered to smell like maple syrup. so as america focuses its energy on building more bombs, canada has been hard at work figuring out how to make its money smell like waffles.
march 4 there are russians
march 3 a day off in chicago. went to the art institute and held hands with a class field trip as an instrumental version of a smiths song played. tomorrow i get to toronto. traveling alone to so many places takes its toll quickly... yanking back and forth between big crowds and lights and bustle to suddenly sitting in a quiet little room by yourself in a strange place again. most of my time is spent waiting, for an airplane, for a ride, for the movie to be over in a new theater lobby. indeed i've probably heard some of these films from backstage now more than i've actually seen them. but most of the time the people make it worth it. MOST OF THE TIME.
march 2 storms and tornadoes got in my way of getting to indianapolis today and i'm suddenly stranded in chicago with nowhere to go for two days. all that was left behind in this borrowed apartment is a liquor cabinet, popsicles, and a nintendo wii. it's as though i'm locked inside of a bad human zoo exhibit. so for the first time i had to beam a Q&A into the theater via skype for indianapolis... it felt terribly lonely and strange to be projected on the screen out of a completely empty silent room but it seemed to go ok i guess and hopefully with the help of skilled puppeteers onstage few people there could tell the difference. apologies and stay safe out there!
february 28 all 750 seats in chicago have just sold out so we're adding a 2nd chicago screening, tomorrow at 10:10 - tickets now on sale i think
february 24 nearly 400 people tonight. i think i've heard these films from backstage more than i've actually seen them now. the tour swings wildly between very interesting things and very boring things. mostly i spend a lot of time waiting in the wings for everything to be over. today i bought an overpriced chimera. there is nothing but dark sleet and wind outside. we went to see some mythical creatures at a museum but they werent open yet. i look old tonight
february 23 hi cleveland. somehow we're staying in a retirement home that rents out several rooms to travellers. friday is larry's birthday and we're all welcome to cake in the lobby.
february 22 screening tonight in columbus, ohio, where christopher columbus first set foot upon discovering the new world. friday we screen in cleveland, where i am looking forward to finally seeing versailles
here's life in a day in its entirety which is worth your time if you have it. make screen big and etc:
february 18 dallas yielded the first encore screening of the tour... unprepared, we played it in the wrong aspect ratio, tinted purple. thanks everyone
february 16 dallas is friday night, the last texas stop on the tour. be there. or be doing something else. in dallas. YOUR MOVE.
february 12 back home for a few days, where it's raining ice and the cats don't leave. next up is dallas, ohio, and then a lot of very cold places. by the time this is over i think i'll have hurtled through something like 50 q&a's in 30 cities around the country and probably twice as many interviews. it's maybe not a good sign that i'm not halfway there and am already really tired of myself... when asked the same inevitable questions on a loop there is a danger of turning into a creaking phonograph with a microphone and i'm going to try and jettison everything i've been repeating a lot til now and see if i can dig in totally different directions on stage, even if it gets a little weird.
also maybe some card tricks. how grand to release a movie without ever having to talk about it. onward and upward.
here are a few things from the last 2 weeks and 6 cities
february 6 played the "talking, feeling, and doing" 1973 psychotherapy board game for children with the late night audience. sorry
february 5 eugene sold out - but 2nd screening added tonight at 10. you should come probably because you're really not doing anything better tonight
february 2 went from sundance and snow one morning to a beach in monterey that afternoon and today i'm in seattle. one of my suitcases exploded, possibly related. olympia show was ok last night. they had a hertzfeldt-herzog double feature so got to see "into the abyss" which is pretty great. you know you've been on a long trip when you're cutting your nails in a hotel room. the northwest is kind of strange right now. i feel like a ghost
for some reason sundance invited me to take over their twitter account for a day during the festival. here's part of the transcript
sundancefest: ok people. the #sundance feed is all mine. for $1000 i will tweet about your film. for $5000 i will tweet about your product. -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: on behalf of sundance i'd also like to congratulate director don hertzfeldt on his 2012 juryprize for universal achievement in great awesome
sundancefest: going to try and see the new zellner bros movie "kid thing." will duly sit and tweet all plot details for you throughout film -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: while you wait a favorite sundance midnight short: calvin reeder's 2007 exploitation weirdo "little farm" www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDFaLFA5VBY
sundancefest: "it's such a beautiful day" screens with some great animated shorts for the last time at 7 at holiday village! come say hi -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: i have three extra tickets. find me in town and i'll give them away. first hint: i am surrounded by snow -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: the free tickets are gone! wow, you guys are fast -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: 6th visit to #sundance and the first time seeing a squirrel ride on the back of a cat in a little saddle down main street -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: wait i am now being told this did not happen
sundancefest: hey, also playing tonight: "room 237." if you're not here at the festival, kubrick fans go track this lunacy down someday. -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: also, the new frontiers piece "evolution (megaplex)" -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: omg this q+a is NOT going well. the audience is eating a screaming woman and beetles are pouring from the director's face -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: 2 dogs with 3 legs in THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME. come on, you've totally never seen this before http://bitterfilms.com/dogs.jpg -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: and now a new feature for the twitter feed, movie reviews of things i did not see at #sundance -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: "the house i live in." totally amazing. a truly impeccable lack of tickets throughout this entire production. -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: "west of memphis" wow. devastating. scheduled at the same time as all my own screenings. stays with you for hours after not seeing it -@donhertzfeldt
is it considered tacky / bad form to use #sundance's twitter to find investors for the animated feature i'm writing? cough. -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: we'll need several million dollars and a strong team of animators and artists. probably in europe. do speak up -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: please don't say "kickstarter" -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: flying out tomorrow straight to more screenings: seattle, portland, olympia, and eugene. i am going to look smeary -@donhertzfeldt #sundance
sundancefest: "brittany and i had to wait an extra 20 minutes for the redstone express just to see our second-choice movie. #iamthe99%"
sundancefest: favorite response today: "did you figure out their password? does #sundance know about this?" -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: in the store there was a "punky brewster" dvd with a price tag obscuring the title and at first i thought it read, "penis browser" -@donhertzfeldt
sundancefest: ok so i'm told i'm being cut off early from the #sundance feed now for something called "the awards ceremony" #conspiracy -@donhertzfeldt
february 1 olympia, my hotel room is crawling with ladybugs. not sure if this is adorable or bad.
january 29 hello from monterey -- suddenly from icy snow to warm beach in a few weird hours
january 29 my bags are packed again. seattle/olympia/portland/eugene: you're next. also i have no clean clothes left for this trip.
january 22 weather report: heavy snow, 20 degrees, frozen hair, your windows will make long, low wooshing sounds all night. the first screening was good yesterday, saw a couple other movies and later trudged through a blizzard to reach the taco bell at the summit of mt everest. sort of laying low today and also we discovered this hotel has a sort of great lord of the rings pinball game in the basement. second screening tomorrow at noon, so many things on my list to see and people to say hello to.
often during q+a's my left elbow will suddenly jettison my forearm over the audience's heads. please catch and return thank you
january 21 hello from sundance. snowing a lot already, everyone in the theater is wet. does your definition of "cozy" improve or require there to be an alternative of certain death or extreme freezing discomfort raging outside?
january 19 packing for almost 3 weeks on the road and just realized i don't think i own this many pairs of socks. see you soon in sundance/olympia/seattle/portland/eugene. possibly in a laundromat