Don Hertzfeldt, Hangar, and the Desire to Be Human

So if you’ve spent any amount of time talking to me (or, more accurately, listening to me talk,) you’ve probably heard me talk about Don Hertzfeldt. Don Hertzfeldt is a self-described Oscar-losing filmmaker. He makes animated films starring stick figures, dry narration, and some of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever seen. His debut feature, It’s Such A Beautiful Day, is an hour-long attack on the senses, featuring filmmaking techniques taken to their limits. In it, you hear the story of Bill, a man suffering from an unspecified mental disease, and through the film you experience some of his life from what we can only assume to be his perspective as he goes through some difficult events.

What always strikes me about this film, is that on top of all of its oddities (I must say I am doing a horrible job selling it), it is one of the most remarkably human flims, or just straight up works I’ve ever seen. You experience so many mundane details and things that happen in this person’s life. All of these completely banal experiences in life, all these things that nobody ever thinks of as interesting enough to talk about, included in this masterpiece of a film that I have watched over a dozen times and still makes me cry.

Hangar is a song by 8485, and I have listened to it over 480 times this year alone. It features some of the most lovely vocals I’ve ever heard in a modern song overtop of drawn out synthwave beats. That already is enough to make me like the song, but what makes it probably my favourite song are the lyrics. Exploring themes of feeling stuck, wanting to escape, and simultaneously living in the moment and thinking of the future and the past.

Here’s a little part where I’m going to put some of my favourite lyrics from the song. You don’t have to read it, but you can.

first verse
Come pick me up, I’ll pay for gas
There’s nowhere that I want to be
And you’ll drive fast and I won’t ask
To pick the music or the street
And we can talk about whatever
And pretend that we won’t tell
Even pretending to ourselves\

final chorus
But I can’t bring myself to
Hate me for wanting a break
I’ll still be here in five years
Where I made every mistake
Sixteen trying to disappear
For one week and a half
You know it’s all an act
There’s still a lot I haven’t put into words yet

this is also the first chorus
This place is suffocating
I’ll still be here in five years
Like I promise I won’t
Through the wind in your ears
But nothing feels as urgent
And these nights are still important
And there’s still a lot I haven’t put into words yet

( this is as little as I could stand to put so I decided to cut it there because I could easily just put the whole song’s lyrics in… )

This song is just so beautifully human. Even if I can’t properly relate to all of it, due to me basically just… staying at home on my computer all the time, instead of going for drives with friends and making stupid teenage decisions. But that’s the beauty of it, I don’t have to have all that much in common with eighty, because the song is so completely human. It’s so uniquely someone’s experience, and that’s what I love. I love seeing things through other people’s eyes, and feeling like I’m being let in on deeply personal things. It’s why I gravitate towards all this media which feels so human.

I love it because when I don’t have anyone who cares to share experiences with me, or anyone to tell me about how they’re really doing, or anything like that, I still have these pieces of media. Media doesn’t leave you. Media doesn’t judge you for being honest. Media doesn’t lie to your face and claim that they’re having a great day and you aren’t annoying them at all.

These pieces of media, and so many more let me feel human when other people don’t.

Anyways, that’s my 3am rambling for today

Thanks For listening

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