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Persistence of Vision: Animated Masterworks

It’s Such a Beautiful Day & Me


Persistence of Vision: Animated Masterworks is the Roxy's monthly celebration of classic and contemporary animation masterpieces, made by legendary artists for an adult audience. This month, Persistence of Vision is proud to present two films from the American master Don Hertzfeldt: one a restoration of a film not seen in theaters in over a decade, one a brand-new piece of work.


IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY:

Returning to theaters for the first time since 2012, It’s Such a Beautiful Day has been hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best animated films of all time.

Originally released as three short films over the course of six years, the picture was captured entirely in-camera on a 35mm rostrum animation stand. Built in the 1940s and used by Hertzfeldt on all of his animated films since 1999, it was one of the last surviving cameras of its kind still operating in the world, indispensable in creating the story’s unique images and visual effects. It’s Such a Beautiful Day painstakingly blended traditional hand-drawn animation and experimental optical effects with new digital hybrids, printed out one frame at time and placed under the camera. The film’s signature “split screen” effects were achieved by photographing the animation through small holes that were positioned just beneath the camera lens. One area of the film frame would be individually photographed, the film was then rewound, another section of the frame would be exposed through a different hole, and the process repeated until all elements of a scene were composited together. Towards the end of production, the old camera’s motor began to fail and could no longer advance the film properly, riddling the final reels with unintentional light leaks.

In 2012, the three completed short films about a man named Bill were seamlessly combined to create a new feature film. Upon its original release, It’s Such a Beautiful Day was named by many critics as one of the best films of the year. The L.A. Film Critics Association named it runner-up for “Best Animated Film”.

In 2014, Time Out New York ranked It’s Such a Beautiful Day #16 on its list of the “100 Best Animated Movies Ever Made”.

In 2016, The Film Stage’s critics ranked the film #1 on their list of “The 50 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Thus Far”.

In 2019, The Wrap named It’s Such a Beautiful Day the #1 “Best Animated Film of the 2010s”.

The same year, Vulture’s film critics ranked it #12 on their overall list of the “Best Movies of the Decade”.

In 2021, IGN’s Cinefix placed it #1 on their “Top 10 Animated Films of All Time” list.

It’s Such a Beautiful Day is currently ranked #67 on Letterboxd’s official list of the top 250 highest-rated narrative feature films of all time.


ME:

Don Hertzfeldt’s newest animated film ME is a 22-minute musical odyssey about trauma, technology, and the retreat of humanity into itself. Indiewire has described it as “soul-shaking” and “a triumph”.


Cast: Don Hertzfeldt, Sara Cushman
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
Written by: Don Hertzfeldt
Duration: 84 min
Released: 2012, 2024
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction

Persistence of Vision: Animated Masterworks

It’s Such a Beautiful Day & Me

It’s Such a Beautiful Day & Me

Showtimes

Thursday, June 27th