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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Russian Animators Who Have Spent 40 Years Animating Gogol’s “The Overcoat”

“Regular Pushkin, mat­ter-of-fact Tol­stoy, restrained Chekhov have all had their moments of irra­tional perception which simul­ta­ne­ous­ly blurred the sen­tence and dis­closed a secret imply­ing definitely worth the sud­den focal shift,” writes Vladimir Nabokov in his Lec­tures on Russ­ian Lit­er­a­ture. “However with Gogol this shift­ing is the very foundation of his artwork.” When, “as within the immor­tal ‘The Over­coat,’ he actual­ly let him­self go and pot­tered getting ready to his pri­vate abyss, he turned the nice­est artist that Rus­sia has but professional­duced.” Robust although that act is to fol­low, gen­er­a­tions of movie­mak­ers world wide have try­ed to adapt for the display that mas­ter­work of a brief sto­ry in regards to the out­er­wear-relat­ed strug­gles of an impov­er­ished bureau­crat.

One par­tic­u­lar pair of Russ­ian movie­mak­ers has actu­al­ly spent a gen­er­a­tion or two mak­ing their very own ver­sion of “The Over­coat”: the mar­ried cou­ple Yuri Norstein and Franch­es­ka Yarbuso­va, who started the undertaking again in 1981.

Their 9­teen-sev­en­ties brief movies Hedge­hog within the Fog and Story of Tales had already acquired inter­na­tion­al acclaim from each followers and fel­low cre­ators of ani­ma­tion (their cham­pi­ons embrace no much less an auteur than Hayao Miyaza­ki), with dis­tinc­tive­ly cap­ti­vat­ing results achieved by way of a dis­tinc­tive­ly painstak­ing course of. Whol­ly ana­log, it has grown solely extra labor-inten­sive as dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy has superior so speedy­ly over the previous few many years — many years which have additionally led to nice social, polit­i­cal, and eco­nom­ic adjustments of their dwelling­land.

The Atroc­i­ty Information video above affords a glimpse into Norstein and Yarbuso­va’s lives and work on the “The Over­coat” — to the extent that the 2 may even be sep­a­rat­ed at this level. As soon as, they have been vic­tims of Sovi­et cen­sor­ship and sus­pi­cion, giv­en the ambigu­ous morals of their visu­al­ly lav­ish professional­duc­tions. Now, of their eight­ies and with this 65-minute-film nowhere close to com­ple­tion (however 5 min­utes of which you’ll see in the video above), the prob­lem appears to have extra to do with their very own artis­ti­cal­ly com­mend­in a position however whol­ly imprac­ti­cal cre­ative ethos. They work to “sadis­ti­cal­ly excessive” stan­dards on a movie that, as Norstein believes, “needs to be con­stant­ly chang­ing” — whereas additionally prop­er­ly specific­ing the Gogo­lian themes of strug­gle, pri­va­tion, and futil­i­ty that may “solely be cre­at­ed amid really feel­ings of dis­com­fort and uncer­tain­ty” — therefore their insis­tence on keep­ing in Rus­sia.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Niko­lai Gogol’s Clas­sic Sto­ry, “The Nostril,” Ani­mat­ed With the Aston­ish­ing Pin­display Tech­nique (1963)

Three Ani­mat­ed Shorts by the Floor­break­ing Russ­ian Ani­ma­tor Fyo­dor Khitruk

Watch The Amaz­ing 1912 Ani­ma­tion of Cease-Movement Pio­neer Ladis­las Stare­vich, Star­ring Lifeless Bugs

Watch the Sur­re­al­ist Glass Har­mon­i­ca, the Solely Ani­mat­ed Movie Ever Banned by Sovi­et Cen­sors (1968)

A Sovi­et Ani­ma­tion of Stephen King’s Brief Sto­ry “Bat­tle­floor” (1986)

Get pleasure from 15+ Hours of the Bizarre and Gained­der­ful World of Submit Sovi­et Russ­ian Ani­ma­tion

Based mostly in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embrace the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the e book The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­e book.

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