Don Hertzfeldt

Unspeakable violence afflicts the stick-figure characters drawn by animator Don Hertzfeldt, whose Oscar-nominated 2000 short Rejected includes the timeless complaint "My anus is bleeding!" In the same film, a guy who dares not to wear a silly hat to a meeting of silly hat wearers is beaten to death. Lesson: Heed the sign about the silly hats. Those are just some of the miseries inflicted in other dark-humored shorts that Hertzfeldt will screen and discuss tonight. His latest effort, the 23-minute It's Such a Beautiful Day, continues the misadventures of Bill, a poor nebbish who was essentially born—well, drawn—to suffer. (We're guessing the film doesn't end so beautifully for him.) Other titles include Billy's Balloon—in which a child's red balloon goes murderously amok—and The Meaning of Life (which can be summed up as cruelty, suffering, and absurdity). BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Feb. 2, 7 p.m., 2012

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