Category: Film

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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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: 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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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: The Cow

I recently posted an introduction to the beautiful work of Aleksandr Petrov, who creates animations using pastel oil paintings on glass to create wonderful, unique frames of soft, muted colors. Here is one of his early works, The Cow (Корова, Korova), made in 1989. In the story, a boy remembers how his family lost their …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Lovers

Last week I shared Elyer Ishmukhamedov’s first film, Tenderness, and this week let’s ride this summer feeling again with another film by Ishmukhamedov, Lovers. Lovers (Влюбленные) is a 1969/1970 film that portrays a summer of friendships, drama, and romance in Uzbekistan. Ishmukhamedov has his own strange way of capturing the beauty of the season, especially in …

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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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Aleksandr Petrov, Master of Painted Glass Animation

Today is the birthday of Aleksandr Petrov, the Russian animator born July 17, 1957, in the village of Prechistoye. He is known for his unique technique of creating animations from pastel oil paintings on glass, using his fingertips to paint for added texture. Petrov’s first animation was made in 1988, Marathon, and was a tribute …

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On This Day: Jean Cocteau

Happy birthday to French artist, poet, playwright, novelist, designer, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, born on this day July 5, 1889 in Maisons-Laffitte, France 🎈