niffiwan (niffiwan) wrote,

Overview of upcoming Russian animated features: part 9

Our Masha in the Strawberry Country (Dec. 18, 2008)
The New Adventures of Alyonushka and Yeryoma (Dec. 25, 2008)
The Tale of Fedot the Strelets (Jan. 1, 2009) (Dec. 18, 2008)
Ivan Tsarevich and Grey Wolf (Feb. 1, 2009)
Alice's Birthday (Feb. 19, 2009)
Star Dogs: Belka and Strelka (Dec. 31, 2009)
Alien Pile (likely 2009)
A Room and a Half, or A Sentimental Journey to the Homeland (likely 2009)

Little Muk and the Pirates of the Caspian Sea
Маленький Мук и пираты каспийского моря
Release date: Maybe 2009
Director: Aleksandr Gorlenko
Studio: ?
Budget: ?

(screenshots at the bottom of the post)

The first time this film was mentioned online was an entry on Roman Yerokhin's LJ blog:

"I'm currently watching a secret DVD with the cartoon "Little Muk and the Pirates of the Caspian Sea" by director Aleksandr Gorlenko. The premiere "for our own and a few" happens tomorrow at VGIK. I'm acquainted with Aleksandr Gorlenko, having worked with him on "The New Bremen Musicians" for a pretty long time. His films are not very expensive and do not possess a mega-wow-factor; he always does what he himself wants, thinking everything up along the way, and loves experiments. "Little Muk" is not a short film - it is a feature! The style is horribly simple, but perhaps there is a certain charm in that. I won't judge the plot right now, since I watched disparate episodes to make some screenshots; I'd rather watch the entire film at the premiere on the big screen. It is very hard to judge such an artwork; it is offbeat. But there's a lot to like. I like Russian animation, but my first impression from what I saw was: the cartoon is somehow "drug-influenced"... :-)

It is unlikely to gain a wide release. Its fate is DVD."

And a bit later, Roman posted a review of the film:

"The premiere of Little Muk didn't take place after all; they moved it to an unspecified time. Well, we'll live.
To be honest, I love unusual approaches and experimental animation, but not when it ruins my impressions.

Having watching Little Muk on DVD, I did not find myself in any sort of awe. No joy from the visuals, nor from the sound decisions, nor from the direction as a whole. It is a children's tale created in a children's fashion mixed in with things unsuitable for children, things like smoking and candid behaviour, lead me to just one question: "Who is this cartoon made for, and why was it made at all?". This question is also my summary.

By the way, there is no dialogue in the film. There are sniffles, growls, squeals, cries..
A silent film. One of the idiosyncracities, which, like the others, leaves behind no positive emotions."

At the forums (where this film generated a lot of discussion), Aleksandra Yevseyeva showed screens of previous version of the film. Apparently the film had a pretty long history, and started out promisingly:

Some quotes from her post:
"The characters, as can be seen, were not separate from the background before, but were part of the overall 'colour'. There was even texture layered onto them. Then the money began to run out, and they starting putting the texture on badly, and then not at all."
"I don't know about the second, but the first "Baghdad" film had dialogue. Although mostly only one character spoke; the camel. Mikhalych himself voiced him, and did this in an absolutely genial way. The other voices induced quiet horror in quite the literal sense. :o) Later, it seems, they decided to completely cheap out..."

This is what the film looks like now:

Tags: feature film

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