Tales of Mere Existence

Tales of Mere Existence

There’s not really one specific film called Tales of Mere Existence. It’s a series of animated shorts by Lev Yilmaz. At least some of them are viewable individually on YouTube, but apparently some have also been combined into collections.

What I saw and what I am writing about here is a collection consisting of Procrastination, The Cool Guys, Haircut, Horny, Pickle, and How I Sit on the Bus.

This is terrific stuff. Every one of them is funny, and some are laugh out loud funny. I’m not going to say it’s quite as priceless as Don Hertzfeldt’s animation, but it’s in the same neighborhood, which is very, very high praise.

Vaguely related to Harvey Pekar type stuff too—reality-based comics or cartoons about everyday life.

Yilmaz has a wonderful ability to observe the nuances of life and recreate them in a painfully emotionally honest, self-deprecating, hilarious way.

The animation style is very primitive, a la Hertzfeldt, which adds to the charm. It’s shaky stills of pencil drawings, which are being drawn as we watch, thus adding some slight suggestion of animation to them.

There’s not a dud in the bunch, but probably the one that had me laughing hardest was Horny, a random listing of all the things about girls he can think of that turn him on.

Strong recommendation.

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