SUMMARY: A man called Bill must face up to his potential death when his mundane life is disrupted by an unspecified but potentially fatal condition.
WHY IT’S HERE: With ‘The Meaning of Life’, Don Hertzfeldt had taken a bold leap forward into experimental, non-narrative films. With ‘Everything Will Be OK’, he combined the lessons learned on that project with a more recognisable narrative structure to create the first part in what would eventually be his masterpiece. ‘Everything Will Be OK’ is the start of a trilogy of films about Bill, a simple, apparently rather dull man whose life is disrupted by an unspecified disorder which affects him both physically and mentally. Presenting scenes from Bill’s everyday life in small, irregular shaped boxes of light against a dark backdrop, Hertzfeldt first builds up a picture of his routine and then draws us into the experience of his illness as the worsening mental effects cause numerous images and sounds to vie for his attention. While dramatically gripping and formally experimental, ‘Everything Will Be OK’ is also dryly hilarious. This is clear from the opening moments when Bill has an awkward encounter with a casual acquaintance and Hertzfeldt narrates it in minute detail. This narration continues throughout the film and its subsequent sequels, its carefully chosen phrases and inflections striking the perfect mood throughout. Immediately acclaimed as one of the greatest short films of its year, ‘Everything Will Be OK’ is only the beginning of an astonishing series which Hertzfeldt then strung together to create one of the finest animated features of all time.