Short Film: ‘I’m Fine Thanks’ Is a Colorful, Lunatic Take on Life

Short Film of the Day

Why Watch? There’s been a wave of willfully strange, rambunctious animation recently, cartoons that assault and entertain equally. Eamonn O’Neill’s I’m Fine Thanks is one of these, a deliriously styled vision of an awkward and unfortunate life. Its structure evokes Mikey Please’s The Eagleman Stag while its brutal sense of humor has more in common with David O’Reilly’s The External World. It follows the full span of one incredibly awkward child who grows into a somewhat deranged adult, constantly in conflict with the unforgiving world around him.

O’Neill portrays his character’s persecuted perspective with crazy, exaggerated animation that focuses first on the fantasy of this guy’s refusal to let the world treat him badly. He’s a bit like the nightmarish version of one of those “Nice Guys of OKCupid,” constantly feeling unjustly neglected by the world. And then, halfway through, I’m Fine Thanks retraces its steps and throws everything into a new, bleaker and more rational light. This duality is the central thrust of the film, a triumph in miniature.

I’m Fine Thanks will play tomorrow night as part of Rooftop Films’ “That Impending Sense” shorts program. Other films include Ethan Clarke’s uncanny dreamscape, Drifters, and Santiago Gil’s tranquilly mysterious Chiralia.

What Will It Cost? About 4 minutes.

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Daniel Walber is a freelance critic living in Brooklyn. He holds a MA in cinema studies from New York University, loves any movie under 80 minutes, and is gay for Bette Davis.

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