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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:04 pm 
Very late reply karmajuice but both posts have been invaluable to me these past months, as a result I was spotted a couple Russian animated shorts on skyarts, Films Films Films (Fyodor Khitruk) really does bring to mind Chuck Jones art deco designs and comic wit but it was Tale of Tales by Yuri Norstein that capitvated me late at night a few days back.

Not sure what I can add about it without revisiting it again, a very powerful haunting piece, love the mix up of styles, can feel the dirt and handprints on every frame, cannot help think of it as an animated The Mirror although I know that doesn't do it justice at all. I'm currently searching frantically for more insight on the artist starting with this forum as well as seeking out the DVD set.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:09 am 
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John K. just posted some fascinating images Bob Clampett drew of the layout of Warner Brothers studios while he worked there in the 1930s/40s


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 am 

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Love those little maps. It amazes that things like that can be found so long after the fact. What a wonderful, unassuming artifact from that period.

This thread resurfacing has renewed my interest in continuing my survey of world animation shorts. Hopefully someone can get some mileage out of it.

I can't post one just this minute but I'll try to draft one up soon. It will probably focus on Eastern European, one of my favorite regions for animation (and cinema in general, really); the region has enough output to merit its own post. I also need to get around to American independents, Japanese independents (recently bought a book on that, so I'll be digging into those soon), and whatever else I may be overlooking.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:12 am 
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We don't have a specialised thread for the film so may as well put it here... has anyone else checked out the blu-ray edition of Bambi yet? It finally has the deleted scene 'Two Leaves', and its fascinating. It isn't fully animated, but the dialogue (adapted from the novel) between the last leaves musing on death and old age really highlights that Bambi could have turned out much differently than it did. And its nearly as depressing as the death of Bambi's mother to boot, so leaving it in would have made the film's modern marketing as cutesy-animals-in-the-forest even more absurd. [Though alas the blu-ray is still lacking the rumoured 'Death of Thumper' storyboards.]


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:20 pm 

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Here's a post on some of the major Central/Eastern European animators I'm aware of. I've excluded Poland because its tradition is broad and diverse enough to merit its own post, and because I've yet to make my way through the PWA animation sets I own. Thanks to these sets the work of Polish animators is more readily (and legally) available than some of the other animators I've talked about.

Estonia

Priit Pärn
One of the most distinctive, challenging, and provocative animators out there, on par with any live-action master. His work deliberately flies in the face of the aesthetic gloss typically associated with professional animation. His characters are crudely drawn and his animation style is rough, unpredictable, and inconsistent. His narrative films are baffling, featuring endless tangents, bizarre imagery, brash and non sequitur humor, and what seem like irrelevant details. Over the past year or two I've made my way through his entire oeuvre (a frustrating challenge at times, given the rarity of some of his films); I've only neglected a few commercial spots, I believe, which simply aren't available.
He's a difficult filmmaker to adjust to, but it's well worth the effort. His style is utterly unique and his films are always compelling, even when they're incomprehensible. Some might call him a Surrealist (he was once involved with an Estonian surrealist group) but that classification doesn't quite work for me. In any case, his films are always amusing, but their themes are often quite serious and at times they achieve a rare beauty. Since he's among the best of the filmmakers I've discovered, I'll address each of his works separately (from first to last).
Is the Earth Round?, . . . And Plays Tricks, Exercises in Preparation of an Independent Life - Pärn's first animations, and his roughest. All three are full of visual jokes and an anarchic tone, but only merit investigation if you like Pärn's style.
The Triangle (1982) - A relationship between a man, a woman, and the tiny man who lives under their sink. A study of gender dynamics and the nature of marriage. His first really strong animation.
Time Out (1985) - Essentially an extended sequence of stream-of-consciousness visual punning. Non-narrative. He just has fun toying with the possibilities of animation.
Breakfast on the Grass (1987) - His masterpiece. Life in Soviet Estonia, as seen by Priit Pärn. Follows four characters and their daily struggles under Soviet rule until their paths cross. If you watch any of his films, WATCH THIS ONE.
Hotel E (1992) - Another masterpiece, and perhaps his most ambitious. Presents an enigmatic and rather frightening portrait of Eastern (Soviet) culture and Western culture, observing how they differ, and speculating about what might happen now that the Berlin Wall had fallen. Difficult but unforgettable.
1895 (1995) - Made on the centenary of the cinema, this bizarre picaresque is an elaborate homage to the cinema and its creation; it's about a man named Jean-Paul who's not sure who he is or what he's supposed to do with his life. Also paints an unusual portrait of Europe and the identities of its various nations.
Night of the Carrots (1998) - For me, at least, one of his most impenetrable animations. About an establishment called PGI that everyone wants to enter, but those who inhabit it have nothing to do and cannot leave. Involves a gelatinous blob, an egg who speaks German, and conspiratorial rabbits who practice voodoo. Some interpret it as a depiction of the internet and its grip on society, but its symbolism is so off-the-wall it's hard for me to pin anything down.
Karl and Marilyn (2003) - Meaning Karl Marx and Marilyn Monroe. It's been a while since I've seen this one so I can't say much about it, but I recall it being particularly concerned with sexuality, the nature of appearance, and the East/West division which preoccupies Pärn so often. Also features some Antonioni parody.
Life Without Gabriella Ferri (2008) - His most recent film, drawn primarily in monochrome with pastel colors for contrast. I love it, but I don't even know where to start with a summary. Just watch it.
There's also a documentary about him called Parnography by Hardy Volmer. As far as I can tell his films are not yet available on DVD anywhere, but a few of them are readily available through youtube or torrent sites. I have several of his animations and the Volmer documentary on my computer, and would be eager to share them with anyone who is interested. Just send me a PM.

Ülo Pikkov
In addition to animating, Pärn also works as an illustrator and a teacher. He's had a tremendous influence over the upcoming generation of animators in Estonia (and Ukrainian animator Igor Kovalyov), most of whom he taught personally. My familiarity with most of these animators is limited, given how difficult it can be to find their work, but I have seen a few by Ülo Pikkov. His Dialogos is drawn directly onto the film. It's reminiscent of Time Out, having a similar free-wheeling, non sequitur string of events. It lacks the wit of Time Out's transitions, though. His Bermuda is a more mature work. The film is clearly influenced by Pärn's visual style but it's more restrained and less confusing than Pärn's films.
Both are available online: Dialogos and


Czech Republic

Berthold Bartosch
A Czech animator who made most of his films outside of Czechoslovakia. He worked with Lotte Reiniger on her silhouette animations but his most famous work (and I believe his only surviving solo effort) is the astounding L'Idée from 1932. It is perhaps the first animation designed with serious themes in mind (I guess that honor might go to McCay's Sinking of the Lusitania). The film is animated with cut-outs in the style of expressionistic woodcuts and it employs some impressive use of lighting and the optical printer. I've only been able to find it online in rather pitiful quality here. I have a higher quality file on my computer I can share for those interested, but if anyone knows of DVD availability, I'd be extremely grateful. It deserves to be seen under better conditions.

Jiri Trnka
The master of Czech puppet animation, and the founder of Jiri Trnka Studio where many subsequent Czech animators have worked, including Jan Svankmajer and Jiri Barta (Japanese puppet animator Kihachiro Kawamoto studied under Trnka personally, and often collaborated with the studio). He animated in stop motion using both puppets and cut-outs, and most of his films were based on established stories, like Czech folk tales or Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I've only seen a fraction of his work, since it's so hard to come across (a DVD of his work is out of print, but still available, I just haven't bought it). His swan song, The Hand, is reason enough to include him in this survey: it depicts an artist struggling against the oppression of a totalitarian hand who wants him to make only sculptures of hands. His The Merry Circus is a fun if simple cut-out short. While his films can feel dated at times, I find the transparency of their artifice quite charming and they possess a resourceful wit. Some of his films are available on youtube but most are in pretty dismal quality. I hear Trnka also illustrated children's books but I haven't seen much of that work.

Karel Zeman
He's mostly known for his feature-length fantasy films, mixing painted sets, real actors, and various animation techniques, forming a highly artificial but wonderfully inventive pastiche. He's also made some shorts, including one called Inspiration using glass figures in stop motion. To date I've only seen one of his features, A Deadly Invention, which I adore -- its wit and attention to detail are astonishing, and if one is willing to embrace naïvité, its effects are quite charming. Zeman is credited for both direction and art direction, and his meticulous devotion to the look of the film shows. It looks like an illustration brought to life. Honestly, it's hard to keep track of the number of effects employed to achieve its look. Lines are drawn on everything to make the film resemble engravings; they're even superimposed over the (moving!) waves.
Some of his films are available on Region 2 DVDs, from the Czech Republic and Germany, at least. I can't say how English-friendly they are. A Deadly Invention was available on Region 1 DVD under its alternate title (The Fabulous World of Jules Verne) but appears to be out of print.

Jan Svankmajer
Svankmajer is well known on these forums, so I won't go into much detail, but his films are invaluable. They are among the best animations ever made. A complete collection of his shorts is available through the BFI, produced by our very own Michael Brooke, and I recommend it over the Kino discs if you're region-free. Most of his features are available through various DVD labels, though a few are out of print.

Jiri Barta
An animator who's still around, and still working, but who did most of his work in the eighties. His films were compiled on a pretty solid DVD by Kino: Jiri Barta: Labyrinth of Darkness. His style is remarkably diverse, with almost every film featuring a different sort of animation. Some use cut-outs (Disc Jockey, Riddles for a Candy), some use strangely manipulated live action (The Last Theft), and others use stop motion. His stop motion films approach stop motion in all sorts of inventive ways, using found objects like gloves and life-size mannequins. His greatest film to date is The Pied Piper of Hamelin (or Krysar), an hour-long stop motion animation using expressionist woodcuts in cut-out animation style. It's a dark, Gothic adaptation of the classic story and its woodcut style resembles nothing else I've ever seen. It's extraordinary, and it alone merits a purchase of the disc.
He's also worked with computer animation; it's not on the disc but it's available on youtube. The animation toys with the artifice of computer animation. Most recently he made a children's puppet film in 2009, which I haven't seen. For decades, however, he's been trying to finish a dream project called Golem. He made a trailer to help get funding and it can be viewed here. It's some of the most impressive animation I've ever seen and the fact that he hasn't found the funds to finish it is unfathomable. I desperately hope he manages to finish it someday; if I could figure out how, I'd send a personal donation to the project.

Michaela Pavlátová

A contemporary animator who has also ventured into live-action. I won't discuss her live-action films because I haven't seen them (they include Night Owls and Faithless Games). Her films often focus on the dynamics of relationships: how they operate, how they change, how people communicate. She expresses these dynamics in visual terms, focusing less on characterization and more on the mechanism of communication, using repetition, caricature, and expressionistic touches. She transforms speech into symbols and visual puns, preferring this expressive visual language to mere words. Communication and sexuality are recurrent themes in her work. Her two best films are Reci, Reci, Reci (Words, Words, Words) and Repeat, which were both made in the nineties. Both are very clever and beautifully designed. Her other film are well worth looking into as well, especially her version of The Carnival of the Animals, which uses the familiar songs to explore sexual scenarios. She has a website which hosts some illustrations and lists her animation work (although the animation section fails to mention her two early works, Etude from an Album and The Crossword Puzzle). The flash animations on the site aren't worth your time, unfortunately. As for availability, I don't know of any legal means, but several of her shorts can be found online. I can share some files as well, just PM me.


Some other names worth knowing in Czech animation are Bretislav Pojar, Pavel Koutský, Vlasta Pospisilova, and Aurel Klimt. I've seen a few films by them, and they're talented animators, but I don't know enough about them to share in detail. I may elaborate further down the road, once I'm more familiar with them.

Croatia

Zagreb Film
A film studio in Zagreb. It was started for animation production but later expanded into the realm of documentaries, educational films, and features, so it sounds like the Croatian answer to the National Film Board of Canada. I know very little about the studio, but I have seen a few films by animators who worked there.
Zdenko Gasparovich - His short film Satiemania is an inspired hand-drawn bit of chaos. Random goings-on set to the music of Eric Satie. The film is readily available online, although not in very good quality. Unfortunately it's only one of two short films he ever directed.
Zlatko Grgic - Worked extensively at Zagreb, on projects like a cartoon series they had called Professor Balthazar. The films I've seen were produced elsewhere: Dream Doll, made in collaboration with Bob Godfrey (the poor man's Terry Gilliam), and a few films he made for the National Film Board of Canada. Dream Doll is the best of Godfrey's terrible work.
Dušan Vukotic - I've only seen one film by this fellow, but it's delightful. Surogat (Ersatz) was the first foreign film to win the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Its playful story is told through a very geometric design scheme, without words. The film is available online.

Hungary

Marcell Jankovics

Working out of Hungary's Pannonia Film Studio, Jankovics has made an array of both shorts and features. I first encountered him a few years ago when I saw his minimalist short Sisyphus, his most widely seen film (in part because it was reappropriated for a Superbowl ad a few years ago). I saw another short around the same time, Hidavatas (which is good, but lacks the succint power of Sisyphus). After that he got lost in the shuffle, until I started working on this post. Now that I've researched him more, I'm kicking myself for having waited so long. The most remarkable discovery was his second feature, Fehérlófia (Son of the White Mare, 1982), which is possibly the most boldly animated feature I've ever encountered. It applies a radical use of color and design to a Hungarian folktale, and sustains this radical form for its entire running time. It's an astounding achievement, and demands to be seen. It's difficult to describe its style -- it brings to mind psychadelic art, but it never feels as obnoxious or messy as psychadelic works tend to. Perhaps it's best just to watch a clip from the film: the opening.
After watching Fehérlófia I saw another short, translated as "The Struggle" or "The Fight", about art and its toll on the artist. While most of his films were made in the seventies and eighties, he's still active. His most recent feature (Song of the Miraculous Hind) was made in 2002, although some sources indicate that The Tragedy of Man, an animated adaptation of this play is his most recent.
If you just look his name up on Google you can find some of his short films online -- not in any ideal quality, but given the simple line work in most of his shorts they're more watchable than most under those conditions. "The Struggle" is harder to find, possibly because of the various translations, but can be found if you search for the native title, Küzdök. Fehérlófia is also available on youtube, but it deserves better. I have a decent file I can share via PM; you can buy the DVD from Hungary, but the shipping costs are outrageous: 40+ euro for one disc. Here if you're crazy.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:21 pm 
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karmajuice wrote:
Marcell Jankovics

The most remarkable discovery was his second feature, Fehérlófia (Son of the White Mare, 1982), which is possibly the most boldly animated feature I've ever encountered. It applies a radical use of color and design to a Hungarian folktale, and sustains this radical form for its entire running time. It's an astounding achievement, and demands to be seen. It's difficult to describe its style -- it brings to mind psychadelic art, but it never feels as obnoxious or messy as psychadelic works tend to. Perhaps it's best just to watch a clip from the film: the opening.

Another endorsement for the Marcell Jankovics classic (and thanks, karmajuice, for the wealth of information in your post).

The art technique utilized in Fehérlófia is amazing: images are stylized sometimes to the point of non-recognition, but are constantly morphing and changing in such a creative fashion as to always convey the image's essence. The use of color is unequaled in its audaciousness (it's the most retina-scorching use of color I've ever seen, perhaps rivaled years later by the day-glo madness of the Wachowski's Speed Racer). Numerology is an important aspect of the fable's lore and accordingly, there is often a precise symmetry utilized in the animation style. There's not a lot of dialogue, but what little voice-work there is, is immaculately rendered and meshes wonderfully with the characterizations throughout the film. It reaches as bold and adventurous a plateau as any animated film (ostensibly for children) will likely ever reach. Any fan of avant garde animation should seek out this masterpiece.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:23 am 
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Terry Gilliam shows you how to do cut out animation.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:46 pm 
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That's pretty amazing. Thanks for posting that.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:18 am 
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The 1975 issue of Film Comment dedicated to animation is briefly online.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:33 pm
Lord of the Sky a film by Ludmila Zeman, Eugen Spaleny

Karel Zeman
Wizard of Animation: The Journey Back
Stamps
Coins
Film Posters


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:33 pm
Hermína Týrlová
Z deníku kocoura Modroočka1974, 5 x 12 min
Ferda Mravenec 1978, 60 min or HERE
Míček Flíček 1956, 18 min
Kalamajka 1957, 9 min
Uzel na kapesníku 1958, 14 min
Vláček kolejáček 1959, 14 min
Den odplaty 1960, 11 min
Modrá zástěrka 1965, 8 min
Dvě klubíčka 1962, 8 min
Sněhulák 1966, 9 min
Pasáček vepřů 1958, 13 min
Zvědavé psaníčko 1961, 21 min
Kulička 1963, 9 min
Ztracená panenka 1959, 19 min
Ukolébavka 1947, 7 min
Vlněná pohádka 1964, 10 min
Příhody brouka Pytlíka 1978, 14 min


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:33 pm
Zdeněk Miler
Krtek (Little Mole) LINK
HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, Toys

Cvrček (Cricket) LINK
HERE,

Zdeněk Miler's art work
How to order


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:48 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:33 pm
Břetislav Pojar, Michal Žabka, Libor Pixa, Jakub Kohák
Autopohádky, 2011


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:32 am 

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Vladimir Tarasov's short Shooting Range is on Sky Arts 1, Wednesday at 9am.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:54 pm 
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It doesn't seem there's been one word spoken on the board for this fantastic animator I just discovered today thanks to a friend. His name is Adam Beckett and he is probably most famous (if at all) for rotoscoping work he did for Star Wars, but was a fantastic director in his own right being taught by one of McLaren's proteges. While it seems most of his work is available on the Internet apparently a local institution has put out all of his works on DVD. The most amazing thing I'm finding about his films is the use of depth of field which is what separates him from his closely related animators.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Are there any uncut releases of Make Mine Music and Melody Time?


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:56 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am
knives wrote:
Are there any uncut releases of Make Mine Music and Melody Time?


I think I remember that the UK release of Melody Time is uncut as is the Scandinavian release of Make Mine Music.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Cool, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:21 pm 
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J Wilson wrote:
The Caprino set looks interesting, but the review they posted notes that these were all cropped from 4:3 to 16:9 because 16:9 is the future and no one wants to watch 4:3 anymore, essentially. That's kinda dumb.

Is this still true of the set?


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:20 pm 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkhNED3-mnI


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:56 am 

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knives wrote:
J Wilson wrote:
The Caprino set looks interesting, but the review they posted notes that these were all cropped from 4:3 to 16:9 because 16:9 is the future and no one wants to watch 4:3 anymore, essentially. That's kinda dumb.

Is this still true of the set?

Yes and no. I bought the whole 4-disc-set from the Caprino website. It is rather expensive (incl. shipping costs to Germany) and the films would have fitted perfectly on 2 DVDs or 1 Bluray. There has been a DVD edition before which was 16:9 and cropped. The new edition is also 16:9 but not merely cropped. In fact the son of Ivo Caprino, Remo Caprino, claims that his father gave his approval on his death bed, that his films may be "adapted for the new standard in 16:9 widescreen format for TV". So they did it and they adjusted every scene frame by frame to the widescreen format. Which means they put extra information on both sides of the picture when cropping would have cut up heads or other important information. Or they cut only the lower part of the picture or they moved the camera when in the original 4:3 format there is no movement. Quote from the booklet: "..., we adjusted the width using our own manual and artistic extension techniques. This is how we avoided the original picture getting cropped at the top and bottom."

The picture quality ist very good, alright. But these are not the original films as they were first shown in theaters. You can see clips from the original films in the extras section when they are compared to the restored versions. As a purist I would have liked to get the original 4:3 versions. At least as a bonus. In fact there is plenty of space on the DVDs.


Last edited by osmin on Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Let's not forget Alexandre Alexeieff, the inventor of pinscreen animation. His and Claire Parker's animation to Night on Bald Mountain is better than the Fantasia version, IMHO. It's just as atmospheric and, I think, more haunting in that the animation style gives it an eerie feeling of moving sculptures or paintings, and it is so dark, it feels less like nighttime and more like some kind of hellish world of shadows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13FQ1wvxVHs

(The picture quality is rather poor, but, as I can't find any other posting on the internet, I assume it's the only available copy.)

Incidentally, I first learned of this film on a site that listed somebody's choices of the top 50 (?) animated films of all time, but now I can't find the list anywhere, so if anybody happens to be familiar with it, I'd really appreciate a link. As I remember, this film was somewhere in the top 5 or 10, and #1, I think, was Tale of Tales.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:17 pm 
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That's the 1984 olympics list made by the ASIFA. second list here.

It's not a bad one at all, and more recent lists (Annecy and Laputa, for exemple) are pretty similar.

I had never heard of 95% of the films on this list when I decided to watch them all, and I'm quite glad I did as it changed what I thought of animation before. Some are pretty rare, I had to travel to the soon-to-be-closed Cinerobotheque in Montreal to see Clorinda Warny's superb Beginnings. I'm still looking for two films: George Dunning's Damon the Mower (I don't think I ever saw a picture of it!) and Driessen's Jeu de coudes, made at Radio-Canada instead of the NFB.


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:21 pm 
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*steals link for use in upcoming Animation List project*


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 Post subject: Re: Animated Films
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Night on Bald Mountain can be found on the Facets Alexeieff DVD, as well as the essential Unseen Cinema set.


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