Our Next Hyphenate: Tom Clift

Tom Clift
Film critic, arts journalist and November 2015 Hyphenate Tom Clift

Not many people know that the greatest natural threat to the podcast is the volcano.

We'll explain.

Some of you may have read our previous announcement for this month's episode (which has now been taken down), revealing our next guest/filmmaker combo to be Rebecca Harkins-Cross talking Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

What neither we nor Rebecca could have predicted would be a whole bunch of volcanic ash from East Java’s Mt Raung grounding planes in Bali and stranding anyone who wanted to fly out. Rebecca included.

This has left her without the weeks of prep time she'd hoped to have before recording her episode, not to mention the weeks’ worth of actual work that has backed up in her absence. So Bec had no choice but to  pull out of this month’s show, a decision we completely understood. (As an aside, this is the first time we’ve had a late cancellation since we started Hyphenates five-and-a-half years ago, which is pretty good when you think about it.) Fear not: both Bec and Fassbinder will be back on the show very soon!

So which guest has gallantly agreed to step into the breach with just over a week before the recording?

It's Melbourne arts journalist Tom Clift!

Tom is the co-founder and festivals editor of Movie Mezzanine, the reviewer of new release films for ABC radio's Overnights, and is a regular contributor to Concrete Playground, FilmInk, Film School Rejects and RogerEbert.com.

We've been chatting to Tom about guesting on the show for a very long time, and although we'd always hoped to give him much more notice than he's getting now, we are both delighted to finally have him on, and grateful for his willingness to jump in at the last minute.

So which filmmaker will Tom be talking to us about?

It's independent animator and award-winning director Don Hertzfeldt!
Directed by Don Hertzfeldt

If you've never heard of Herzfeldt, his 2000 animated short Rejected was nominated for an Oscar, he has won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Short Film twice (the only filmmaker to have done so), and the Austin Chronicle described his films as being among “the most influential and intellectually chewy examples of animation ever created”.

Not a bad resume for a director who hasn't hit 40 yet.

In addition to his many short films, Herzfeldt has only made one feature film so far - 2012's It's Such a Beautiful Day - which would normally put him out of the running given our five drink minimum, but we were swayed by a few factors: Herzfeldt is a truly exciting auteur, Tom is very keen to discuss his work, and, let's be honest, we only have a week to prep for this one. We like to think of it as the stars aligning in such a way to ensure that everybody wins.

But here's the question: how has Hertzfeldt, in such a short period of time, already been hailed as the future of animation? And what is it about his work that so appeals to Tom? Tune in to Hell Is For Hyphenates on November 30 to find out!

Don Hertzfeldt
Our next filmmaker of the month, Don Hertzfeldt

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