So I have seen this short quite a few times throughout the past year. I had heard it was a big deal at Sundance and I wanted to get to see it for myself. After watching it the first time, I was kind of confused. I understood the plot and what was going on but I felt like there was some deeper meaning to the film and I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. After I watched it the second time, I thought that the meaning was found in the parts where Emily is explaining to Emily Prime about how she fell in love with a rock, a gas pump, and with Simon. I thought that Don Hertzfeldt used this to explain previous relationships that he had been in, which he very well could have. But after watching it this most recent time, I think that the greatest meaning of the film lies in the section where Emily is extracting the memory of “me and mommy walking” from Emily Prime.
Emily says that the memory will bring her great comfort. She says that she has lived a sad life and that she has felt a deep longing for something that she can’t quite remember. This longing that she feels, I think, is a longing for the memory of her and mommy walking. Emily then goes on to say that after all of it, she will have the same fate as the rest of the human race, “dying horribly”. After realizing that she will not have a pleasant future, Emily has come back to retrieve the memory because it give her comfort for the horrible death that is imminent. The only question that still remains to me is, why this Emily? She could have travelled back and spoken to any Emily that still had the memory, why this one in this exact moment?