Ah, L'Amour

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Ah, L'Amour (1995) is Don Hertzfeldt's first 16mm student animated short film, completed at the age of 18 at UC Santa Barbara. Though produced for a beginning film class,[1] the short had a very long life at animation festivals, launching Hertzfeldt into cult status at a young age. In 1998, the short won the Grand Prize Award for "World's Funniest Cartoon" from the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

The cartoon is a self-parody, told from the point of view of a "bitter filmmaker". In it, a crudely drawn male suitor is subjected to exaggerated bloody violence from all the unreasonably emotional and psychotic women he approaches, with each vignette closing as the paper physically crumples up the characters in a frustrated heap. The soundtrack is entirely guitar music, performed by Hertzfeldt on a boom box in his dorm room.

On DVD[edit]

In 2005, the original 16mm negative was digitally restored and remastered for the first time, for release on the extensive "Bitter Films Volume 1" DVD compilation of Hertzfeldt's 1995-2005 films. For the DVD, Hertzfeldt performed an alternate guitar soundtrack as a special feature, approximately 10 years after recording the original. Other special features for Ah L'Amour include Don's original production sketches and notes, as well as a very rare 1993 video short that Don created in high school, that is a direct precursor to the film. The DVD is available exclusively at the Bitter Films website, http://www.bitterfilms.com


  1. ^ "Bitter Films "Ah L'amour" page". bitterfilms.com.