Rejected title card

This week I bring to you another Friday Night Film to start the weekend on a fun note. This time it’s different. It’s a short film. It’s animated. And it’s very, very strange.

Director Don Hertzfeldt started animating in film school when he realized how expensive it was to make live action movies. In fact, his first short film to gain international attention, BILLY’S BALLOON (1998) about toys seeking revenge on the kids who own them, was made while he was still a student. It was nominated for the Short Film Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

He’s made a number of short and feature length animated pieces, all with his signature style–hand drawn characters (often stick figures) doing absurd things or having absurd things happen to them. To date, he has not done any advertising work. In fact, he swears to never do so as he sees commercials as big lies, and he never wants to lie to his audiences. This didn’t stop companies like Pop Tarts from stealing his style.

Which brings us to tonight’s pick, REJECTED (2000). The story centers around an animator hired to make commercials for two companies. Those commercials get rejected by the corporations and…well, things happen.

Hertzfedt received his first Academy Award nomination for this 10 minute short, which took an estimated year and a half to produce.

If you’ve already seen it, or want more after watching the version above, he uploaded a version with text commentary. Some of it is insightful, some of it is funny, and some is just strange…as one would expect from him:

QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: What are some of the most bizarre jobs you’ve quit or been let go from?

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