Category: Featured

Soviet Film Wednesday: Good Night Children

This animated short was created by Russian artist Yuri Norstein, who is known for his attention to fine detail in his beautiful handmade stop-motion films which often include layers of sketches and paintings on paper and glass. It took Norstein almost two years to create this short piece. He creates delicate movements, a unique sense …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Samoyed Boy

Made in 1928, Samoyed Boy was one of the first films directed by the Brumberg sisters, along with directors Nikolai Khodataev and Olga Chodatajewa. It is the story of a boy who fights corruption in his village, then goes on to study in Moscow. It may be best known for its innovative animation; the mesmerizing waves are stunning …

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On This Day in 2004: The Funeral of DJ John Peel

DJ and radio host John Peel’s funeral was held on this day, November 12, 2004, at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in the town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England. Among the 1000-plus attendees were many artists, including Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, The White Stripes, and Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey. His brother Alan Ravenscroft read a eulogy …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Russian Sugar Ad

Here’s a little treat for Wednesday: a jam ad created for Russian Sugar directed by Yuri Norstein. It was one of a group of Russian Sugar commercials made by Norstein between 1994 and 1995 that used cutouts and drawings for the animations (a bit past the Soviet era but still delightful and created by beloved …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Enchanted Desna

Enchanted Desna is a film that gives us insight into the mind of Aleksandr Dovzhenko as a child, growing up by the Desna river. Directed by Yuliya Solntseva, the film is an “autobiographical film story” by her husband, Aleksandr Dovzhenko. Both thought-provoking and beautiful, the film elicits memories and introspection from its viewers. For instance, …

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On This Day: Hello Kitty

Happy birthday to Hello Kitty, whose birthday is November 1, 1974. Kitty White, aka Hello Kitty, shares a birthday with her designer and creator Yuko Shimizu, born on this day November 1, 1946 in Kyoto, Japan. Interestingly, the current Hello Kitty company owner, Tomokuni Tsuji, was also born on November 1st in 1988. The previous owner, …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Night on Bald Mountain

Night on Bald Mountain is a film set to the music of the same name by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, and arranged by his fellow Russian composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.  The film was created by the inventors of pinscreen animation, Alexandre Alexeieff and his collaborator Claire Parker. Alexeieff was born in Kazan, Russia in 1901 and died in …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Viy

In this 1967 film, a young seminarian stays the night in an old woman’s barn during his travels. During the night, the old woman casts a spell on him and flies on his back through the night. When they touch ground again, she suddenly turns into a young girl. Frightened, he runs away. Soon after, …

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Meet Palm Springs Architect Albert Frey

Albert Frey was born in Zurich, Switzerland on October 18, 1903, and was known for being one of the most influential architects in the Palm Springs area.  He studied architecture at the Institute of Technology in Winterthur, Switzerland, and later worked with Le Corbusier, who became a friend and influence of Frey. One of his most …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Ivashka and Baba-Yaga

Last week we had an introduction to the Brumberg Sisters, and this week we have another great film by the duo, featuring one of the scariest characters of folklore, Baba-Yaga. While this fairy tale, and others, portray her as a child-hunting witch, there are some different renditions of Baba-Yaga. In Slavic folklore, Baba-Yaga is typically …

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