Category: Featured

Soviet Film Wednesday: Little Red Riding Hood

Let me introduce you to The Brumberg Sisters, Valentina and Zinaida Brumberg, who worked together as animators, screenwriters, and directors, creating around 50 films in total. This is their spooky animation of Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, made in 1937. Perrault’s version was a cautionary message to children about stranger danger.

Soviet Film Wednesday: Seasons

Seasons, made in 1969, is one of the most beloved Russian animations, directed by Yuri Norstein and Ivan Ivanov-Vano, with the music of Tchaikovsky. You can find this and four other animations by Norstein: The Battle of Kerzhenets, Fox and Rabbit, The Heron and the Crane, and Hedgehog in the Fog, all on DVD in Masters of …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Birthnight

In Birthnight, Night visits young Tima, a boy who sleeps with the light on because he is afraid of the dark, and she invites him to her nighttime birthday party in the woods. If the story doesn’t sound intriguing enough, the eccentric synth music of Eduard Artemyev is sure to transport you to another world, …

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The Inspiration Behind “Hey Jude”

On this day September 18, 1996, Julian Lennon made the winning bid of just over $39,000 (£21,000) at Sotheby’s in London for the recording notes for the song “Hey Jude,” which Paul McCartney wrote for young Julian to comfort and encourage him during his parents’ divorce. Originally titled “Hey Jules,” Paul McCartney comments on the song’s …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: War and Peace

Between 1966 and1967, writer and director Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (Война и мир) was released in four parts; a seven-hour-plus long adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic novel depicting the lives of several aristocratic families during the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. The stunningly beautiful film skillfully portrays personal stories amidst the political backdrop. Highly …

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On This Day: Werner Herzog

Film director, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, actor, and novelist Werner Herzog was born on this day September 5, 1942 in Munich, Germany. Herzog is well regarded as one of the greatest film-makers of our time, best known for the films Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fitzcarraldo, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Grizzly Man, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Earlier …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Tenderness

Full of the vibrant energy of the outdoors and whimsical romance, Tenderness (Нежность, Nezhnost) was director Elyer Ishmukhamedov’s first major film, made in 1966-1967, and set in summertime in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. At its release, the film won awards at the International Week Of Asian Film Festival in Frankfort and at the Locarno Film Festival. Tenderness was …

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Remembering Gluck in Pictures

British artist Gluck was born into a wealthy, Jewish family as Hannah Gluckstein on August 13, 1895. Their father founded and ran the restaurant and hotel business J. Lyons & Co. in their London home, where Gluck was able to study the arts. Gluck passed away on January 10, 1978 in Steyning, UK. Gluck defied …

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Charley Harper’s Fresh Modernist Take on America’s Wildlife

Today is the birthday of American Modernist artist Charley Harper, born August 4, 1922 on a farm in Frenchton, West Virginia. He is best known for his unique self-described “minimal realism” artistic interpretation of American wildlife. After growing up on the farm, he went to the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his wife, Edie Mckee, …

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On This Day: Steve Peregrin Took

Steve Took was born Stephen Ross Porter in Eltham, London on July 28, 1949. When he started playing music as a teenager, he adopted the name Steve Peregrin Took, based on the Hobbit character Peregrin Took, or Pippin, from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Throughout his musical life, he has recorded solo …

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