Austin animator Don Hertzfeldt’s phenomenal sci-fi short film “World of Tomorrow” is now available for rental on Vimeo.
The winner of the grand jury prize at Sundance, best animated short at SXSW, best animated short at the Omaha Film Festival, an audience award at Glasgow Short Film Festival and special jury mention at the Regard Short Film Festival, “World of Tomorrow” is a 16-minute wonder about a little girl named Emily.
Played by Hetzfeldt’s then-4-year-old niece Winona, Emily receives a very special message from a relative who takes her on a tour of our world several hundred years later. (“You cannot direct a four year old,” Hertzfeldt wrote in an essay about the movie on his website bitterfilms.com. “You cannot even expect a four year old to recite lines back at you. You just sort of have to let the four year old happen.”)
British animator Julia Pott, in her first acting role, plays the other character, also named Emily.
Hertzfeldt is an Oscar nominee whose animated films include “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” “The Meaning of Life,” “Billy’s Balloon” and “Rejected.”
“Beautiful Day,” his first feature film, made it on to a mess of 2012 year-end lists.
Three quick hits
Latino director Demetrius Navarro’s dark comedy “The Martini Shot” will open the 18th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival April 22 at the Marchesa, while Uruguayan director Alvaro Brechner’s “Mr. Kaplan” (about an elderly Jewish man who is convinced he has discovered a Nazi in hiding) will close the festival at 7 p.m. April 26. Check out cinelasamericas.org for ticket details.
Austin director Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special,” starring Adam Driver and Michael Shannon, will likely play the Cannes Film Festival in May, Variety says in its annual predictions. Also shouted out: Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone; Disney/Pixar’s amazing-looking “Inside Out”; and Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The full list will be announced April 16.
The Zellner Brothers’ “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” has expanded from four screens to 30.
The Alamo Drafthouse’s “Magnificent Orson Welles” series has started up, and the Ritz will screen a 35 mm print of “Citizen Kane” at 4 p.m. Saturday and 4:15 p.m. Sunday, coupled with a digital version of an early Welles film, “Too Much Johnson.” Since it’s often regarded as the single greatest American movie of all time, you are probably familiar with “Kane.” It’s on a double-bill with the “Too Much Johnson,” a recently rediscovered and restored early Welles film. It was supposed to run between acts of a 1938 Mercury Theatre stage production that never happened. This version, from the National Film Preservation Foundation, is a rough guess at how the piece might have looked if Welles and his Mercury Theatre colleagues had completed it.
Look for “The Magnificent Ambersons,” Welles’ adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel, at 7:15 p.m. Monday (and 4:50 p.m. Thursday) at the Ritz. “Ambersons” was famously edited by RKO Pictures without Welles’ input; the studio cut more than an hour out of the film, re-shooting the ending to make it more upbeat. The cut footage was likely destroyed, making the original, two-hour-plus cut of “Ambersons” one of the all-time great “lost films.” Nevertheless, it’s still a stunner; it and “Kane” remain essential viewing.
The Austin Film Society has started its “Perfect Criminals: The ’70s French Noir Connection” series and at 7 p.m. Friday at the Marchesa, look for a 35 mm print of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1976 influential thriller “Le Samourai,” starring Alain Delon in one of his signature performances as an absolutely subzero hitman. A screening of Melville’s 1970 caper picture “Le Cercle Rouge” follows at 9:30 p.m. Each movie is $10.