I Am So Proud of You
I Am So Proud Of You is a 2008 animated short film by Don Hertzfeldt. It is the second chapter of a trilogy about the character Bill and continues the dark and philosophical humor of the first film, Everything Will Be OK.
In this chapter, Bill's recovery is haunted by the apparently genetic inevitability of his mental illness, and the lack of control over his own fate. The sudden death of a loved one casts a further shadow over his recovery. The short suggests "simultaneous" connections throughout time, through his strange family history, his childhood, the present, and his (possibly imagined) old age. The theme of lacking control in life and death is underscored by the subtle use of the elements of nature in many of the story's anecdotes: the ocean swallows his half-brother, fires consume a distant relative, electrical bolts are seen in the mind of his grandmother, another relative was known to eat mud (earth), and clouds (air) are used to illustrate the short's sequence about time.
The film won 27 film festival awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the Fargo Film Festival and the Golden Starfish Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Chris Robinson, author and director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival described the film as, "A masterpiece. I can’t even begin to articulate my thoughts about the film but it just gave me shivers and I wasn’t able to attend the party after the screening. Just had to be alone. It had this effect on a number of other people here too. Stunning, beautiful, tragic, absurd work."
Filmmaker David Lowery wrote, "I Am So Proud Of You is, I think, as good a pick as any for film of the year. Certainly as good as Synecdoche, NY, and just as full of grand and complex thoughts about life and death and bodily fluids and years rapidly advancing, coming to ends and beginnings, back and forth, over and over, until one slips indistinguishably into the next." 
Hertzfeldt traveled with the film on a sold-out special theatrical tour of his work in 2008 and part of 2009. A DVD was released in August 2009. The film was subsequently included on the "Don Hertzfeldt Volume Two" DVD anthology.
It's Such a Beautiful Day, the sequel to this film and the last short film in the trilogy, was released in 2011. In 2012, Hertzfeldt seamlessly edited all three chapters together and rereleased the story as a feature film, also titled "It's Such a Beautiful Day." The resulting film also received acclaim. The A.V. Club called the film the 8th best of 2012, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named it runner-up for Best Animated Feature Film of 2012.
- I Am So Proud of You (2008) - IMDb
- Bitter Films Official Site
- Don Hertzfeld performs The Grand Illusion - Blue Notes & Upcoming Shows
- David Lowery: Ones To Remember
- It's Such a Beautiful Day: Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter
- It's Such a Beautiful Day - Page 1 - Movies - New York - Village Voice
- An Everyman Who’s Not O.K.: ‘It’s Such a Beautiful Day,’ Directed by Don Hertzfeldt. - Review by Neil Genzlinger, NY Times, October 4, 2012.
- It’s Such a Beautiful Day | Variety
- The best films of 2012 · The A.V. Club