It's Such A Beautiful Day: In Pursuit of Happiness - Eli Osei
I love movies. I love the lights on my face and the music in my ears. I love the heartbreak off screen and the joy on it. I love stories: fiction and nonfiction. I love movies.
Recently, I’ve gotten into watching video essays (written essays told through the visual medium). I find them extremely fun, incredibly interesting and super easy to watch. Last week, I made my first one. Now it’s not very professional and it’s certainly not the greatest one out there but I am very excited as, hopefully, it is the start of a wonderful journey. The video is above and the video transcript, for those who would rather read, is below. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Stay safe, everyone.
I don’t understand life.
I don’t understand love.
I don’t understand hope or fear or hate or joy.
But oddly, It’s such a beautiful day, understands it all.
Never have I connected so deeply with a movie. Never has life made so much sense. It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a look at not just the time we spend living but furthermore, the moments we spend dying. The movie, while only sixty-two minutes in runtime, says a hell of a lot.
It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a feature film comprising three short films that when put together tell a coherent story. The three short films, now three chapters of a feature, explore the life of a man by the name of Bill. Bill is ordinary. Bill is like you. Bill is like me. But Unlike most films that claim to have real and relatable characters, It’s Such a Beautiful Day tells the truth. The writer/director Don Hertzfeldt (who would be referred to as Don Don if he was a mafia boss) uses a stream of consciousness type style to tell the story of Bill’s life. No sentence appears to be thought out, it all sounds like rambling. When a random man, completely alone, standing on the street, says “Big onion” that isn’t a metaphor about the endless layers of life and the universe, it’s a person confused about the scarily large size of a vegetable, that’s life.
I do not think I’ll ever come across a film that explores death the way It’s Such a Beautiful Day does. Bill lives his entire life accustomed to death: he has heard of death, seen death, he has battled death and defeated death. And yet, he is unable to come to terms with it. As Bill lies on his deathbed, and I promise that's not a spoiler, the narrator says “He finally comes to realise the dumb irony in how he’d been waiting for this moment his entire life, this stupid awkward moment of death.” Bill wasted his whole life thinking about death, it was because of death that he never lived.
It’s Such a Beautiful Day shows us that death is not life and life is not death and while death is inevitable, living is not. Bill lived his entire life trapped in a cycle of monotony: he woke up, walked around the block, greeted his neighbour and ate. He woke up, walked around the block, greeted his neighbour and ate. He wo-
This endless cycle of monotony was not a terrible thing, it was not wasted time, it was Bill’s life. It’s Such a Beautiful Day says that we ought to find joy in the small moments, it says that there is joy to be found in brushing your teeth, in walking around the block, in greeting your neighbour and even in holding a weirdly sized onion.
“Bill’s been having trouble sleeping again and realizes he’s been lying in the dark with his eyes open.”
We live in tough times. The world is plagued by evil, evil people, evil groups, evil systems. Sometimes it feel like the hopeless are right and the hopeful are senile.
We live in weird times. we’re told that the validity of our life is dictated by our success. We believe that happiness is this big attainable end goal, that sits on top of a castle protected by Bowser’s henchmen. Well just like the Super Mario games, life is impossible to win if one constantly thinks long term.
Life’s impossible to win if you forget the small things.
the small things that break us.
the small things that make us.
the small things that bring… joy.
So relax. Breathe. And close your eyes.