Thursday, January 07, 2010

Russian Animation

Russia is a country with a long and rich history of experimental animation. The soviet system allowed a startling degree of freedom for experimentation after the 1956 period where Krushchev presided over the end of 'soviet realism' in the arts. Even under the Stalinist period the studio Soyuzmultfilm was especially known for the variety of visual styles and animation techniques used in their films. The variety of aesthetic dispositions and the artistic freedom to pursue them under a government funded mandate allowed Soyuzmultfilm to become a beacon of experimental animation during the period. Because it was government funded and was allowed to ignore the commercial aspects of it's films, Soyuzmultfilm animators didn't have to worry about sales figures and instead could focus entirely on their craft. Not all of the included animations in this post are from the soviet period, but many are. I've chosen several that I really enjoy and that are of diverse styles. Some are hyper real and some are completely impressionistic and surreal, some have narrative and some have nonewhatsoever. Please note that the Glass Harmonica is in two parts. All of the included films have subtitles in English or have no dialogue except for the last one, which I thought was really great, even though I don't understand a word being said. I strongly suggest any one interested in this further check out the wikipedia page for Russian Animation.