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Смысл жизни (2005) Online

Смысл жизни (2005) Online
Original Title :
The Meaning of Life
Genre :
Movie / Animation / Short / Comedy / Drama / Music / Sci-Fi
Year :
Directror :
Don Hertzfeldt
Cast :
Murwarid Abdiani,Jaden Alexander,Lance Anderson
Writer :
Don Hertzfeldt
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Смысл жизни (2005) Online

The evolution of humanity, through countless eons.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Murwarid Abdiani Murwarid Abdiani - (voice)
Jaden Alexander Jaden Alexander - (voice)
Lance Anderson Lance Anderson - (voice)
Karin Anger Karin Anger - (voice)
Laura Basler Laura Basler - (voice)
Kareen Battle Kareen Battle - (voice)
Ross Beeley Ross Beeley - (voice)
Margot Bercy Margot Bercy - (voice)
Wendi Bergamini Wendi Bergamini - (voice)
Wendy Campbell Wendy Campbell - (voice)
E. Simon Cavazos E. Simon Cavazos - (voice)
Dotty Chasse Dotty Chasse - (voice)
Stephanie Comer Stephanie Comer - (voice)
Kenneth Cook Kenneth Cook - (voice) (as Kenneth J. Cook)
Linda Cook Linda Cook - (voice)

Don Hertzfeldt single-handedly animated and photographed tens of thousands of drawings for the film, over the course of four years.

Over 60 actors recorded vocal performances for over 150 individual animated human characters. These intense first three minutes of the film alone - "the crowd scenes" - took around two years to complete.

All special effects were done "in camera", no CGI was used in the production of this film.

Over 45 minutes of footage was reportedly photographed for the film's final 12 minute running time. This is an enormous shooting ratio for any animated film, due to the unprecedented amount of special effects and experimental lighting techniques that required multiple takes.

Many of the film's complicated animation and visual effect sequences required several months of work just to produce a few second's worth of finished screen time.

User reviews



"Life is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel."

That proverb's the best way I can summarize this animated short. It's not often that movies get me misty-eyed and it's never happened before with anything animated. But the combination of color, movement, wit, intelligence, music, and pure beauty on display here made me happy beyond words and indeed, to tears.

Prepare to be overwhelmed. It's 12 wild minutes of paradox, puzzle and happiness. You can drink it all in and bliss out like a 4 year old, yet have deep philosophical conversations about it with your friends for hours.

I've been enjoying Don Hertzfeldt's films for years, but this is his crowning masterpiece (so far) and it's unlike anything he's ever done before. As far as I'm concerned, Hertzfeldt is the most exciting talent working in animation today. Who'd have ever guessed that the master of stick figures would pull off a piece so well-crafted that it might not have been out of place coming out of the Disney Studio, circa 1955? Fans of Hertzfeldt's popular, more comedic films (like REJECTED or BILLY'S BALLOON) are in for a totally different variety of genius here. Hertzfeldt probably could have made a fortune doing REJECTED sequels for the rest of his life, but the sign of a true artist is somebody who keeps on taking huge risks, pushing the envelope, and taking things in entirely new directions.

I have no idea where Hertzfeldt will take us next, and I for one can't wait!


An astonishing film with ideas that could not be expressed in any other way than animation. In simplest terms, THE MEANING OF LIFE views life develop on Earth from simple creatures to humankind to the further evolved mutants that arise following our extinction.

But there's a wealth of passionate ideas going on under the surface that are hard to verbalize. When the music and animation kicks in at those key moments, you just understand entirely through pure feeling what Hertzfeldt's communicating - and that's what Art is all about.

Trying to intellectualize and dissect a piece like this is like trying to scientifically quantify the beauty of a painting of flowers! You either "get" the painting because it hits the right chord with you, or you don't. I found the film totally lacking in pretension and very simple, like such a painting. Maybe it's just beautiful and meant to be enjoyed.

There are fans of Don Hertzfeldt's work and then there are fans of REJECTED. Anyone curious to see Hertzfeldt continue to grow while challenging and pushing the envelope of indie animation should not miss this short. Fans of REJECTED who're expecting more of the same maybe need not apply.

On the other hand, I disagree with the confused reviews about how MEANING isn't like his other work (that is, his "earlier, funny movies" ...shades of STARDUST MEMORIES?). Hertzfeldtian surrealism, existentialism, and - most importantly - his toying with audience expectations are all here. He pulled the rug out from under us during BILLY'S BALLOON and REJECTED, and now that we're expecting the same thing, he masterfully pulls the rug out again.
elegant stranger

elegant stranger

The author obviously thinks he is making some profound statements about how life is, and, brother, this is so pretentious it's ridiculous. Worse than that, much of this animated short film will give you a headache, not entertainment. There is a segment early on which lasts for seems like eternity in which many people all talking at once. In other words, this movie assault your senses - in a negative way.

Putting it simply: this is not fun to watch.

Much of the other times, stick figures grunt, groan, make bird noises, pig noises, alien gibberish and just plain assault your ears. The stick figures are not clever, nor entertaining, just something that looks like weirdo drew while on drugs.

Because I enjoy the innovative artwork on all of these Animation DVD collections, I find it hard to dislike anything but this one - and another unnamed one - are just awful. The only redeeming quality on "The Meaning Of Life" was the excellent classical music score.


I'll give it that. Previously I'd only seen "Rejected" which nearly everyone has seen and likes. So when this came to town I was expecting something along those lines. The beginning is particularly intense with the hundreds of people walking and talking over each other alongside the Tchaichovsky music (and took 2 years to do!!). Also the creatures evolving into one another were very creative.

But I've heard and seen this all before - life is essentially meaningless hence the absurdity and pointlessness of the film. And of course there are people who do not believe this but it completely ignores that point of view.

Fortunately the film is short and has a great score and visual element but it does feel like it drags after the aliens explain the meaning of life (which of course we can't understand) since it pulls out into the galaxy and then nothing else happens for the last few minutes.

A lot of people at the screening seemed annoyed and frustrated as they watched this. Maybe they expected to find the meaning (they are idiots if that's the case) but I think they were like OK we get it.

If I were to recommend a Hertzfeld film for a person who hadn't seen his work I wouldn't use this one as a starter. If I were to recommend a Meaning of Life film I would definitely use Monty Python's 2 hour long version which is hilarious and is more about the life cycle and has a rather clever ending.

Not a bad film but you might find yourself checking your watch once or twice towards the end.



The evolution of humanity, through countless eons.

The cartoonist's title sequence shows images of black and white flames. And then a human body falls down through it decaying. (A human stick figure)

Next sequence is stick figures unique to the cartoonist's tradition walks and we are reflected of each one saying same dialogue lines. Then the crowd increases. And it becomes chaos of mixture and confusion. And in an instance all are dead and we see black clouds and confusion.

We have a starry sequence later.

And then mutation. Which was my first thought after the observation but later I realised it was a reflection of a parallel universe and how alien life would be behaving and it is accordingly reflected.

We see a discussion with an alien language. We see stars and other beautiful aspects floating around after the discussion.

And then slowly it concludes to the end title.

It's more like a mindless observation of life without any logic or judgement. The film maker establishes his violent and dark abstract style to theme and it is a very unique short animation.

Overall - 3.5/5


Don Hertzfeldt is one of my favorite animators, considering that he mixes simplicity and creativity to come up with some very interesting and fantastic shorts, most of them hilariously strange and random.

This short is more straight-forward and a little less inventive than his other ones. A stick figure dies (probably the best part of the short as it's funny to see how he makes a stick figure decompose), then we get a quick view of evolution, and then we run around the universe seeing many different organisms bickering and looking for attention before a little alien creature asks his father the meaning of life, and his father poo-poos him.

A lot of the humor and interest in this short seems to come from familiarity of Don Hertzfeldt's style, his particular stick figure construction. The various creatures and the decomposition and the evolution are all interesting only as seeing how Hertzfeldt is capable of showing those things with simple shapes and lines. Then there's the whole thing with the stars and the Universe as it spins around with millions and millions of stars, each with their own organisms. This would be interesting but is slightly overdone and actually kind of tedious. Finally, a lot of this short is slower paced and not as completely out there as Hertzfeldt's other work, which I guess expands him as an artist but not fantastically or importantly.



This is a 12-minute animated short film from 10 years ago by Oscar nominee Don Hertzfeldt. Usually his style is fairly unique, but the beginning and ending of this one do not really look like he is behind this one. Most of the stuff in-between, however, does. Unfortunately, I was not too impressed here. I really like Hertzfeldt and I prefer when he just goes for random human characters such as in "Lily & Jim". Of course, he does here early on as well, but there were so many and all of them talking at the same time that, even if their comments may have been significant, I had no idea what they were saying. And we did not understand the aliens either. Maybe that was the idea that we hear the meaning of life referenced in the title, but do not understand it. Still, I have to say Hertzfeldt's works between 2000 and 2005 do not really do too much for me and that includes his most famous "Rejected" and this one here as well. Not recommended.


This is one of the animated shorts from THE ANIMATION SHOW: VOLUME 2. Most of the shorts in this DVD collection are rather poor because very few are funny and the emphasis is much more or art than entertainment in this second installment. For better films overall, see VOLUME 1.

In VOLUME 1, Don Hertzfeldt's animations were among the best additions to the compilation. Not only that, but they were scattered throughout the film. Here in the second collection, they only appear at the very end. Plus, I hate to be critical, but this was among the poorest of his films I have seen. While the cartoon is creative, it is NOT sadistic or funny--something lovers of his work really expect. Sadly, apart from the lovely classical music, I wasn't particularly happy while watching this one.