August 22nd, 2008

drawing, old man

"Making Animation", Tatarskiy's 1986 manifesto

In 1986, Aleksandr Tatarskiy, having already become a famous and award-winning director, wrote an article in the popular Soviet journal "Youth" (Юность) about animation. This great article was an inspiration to young artists at the time, and made more than one of them choose the path of animation. Two years ago, berezovaia posted scans of the original article with Tatarskiy's permission.

In July of last year, having become one of the most influential and beloved figures of the Russian animation community, Tatarskiy died, triggering many reactions from his colleagues. Back then, I wrote two entries summarizing his life (click on the first link to see some of his most famous films, which are discussed in the article). I also began work on translating that 1986 article into English, but my studies took precedence. Now, however, the translation is finally finished! It is a wonderful, lively article, and I think that there are many points raised in it that are just as valid today as they were 22 years ago (while in some cases, interestingly, the situation now is the opposite of what it was then). Tatarskiy's words have unique authority; he was not only a very successful director of both popular and auteur animation, but he also founded a successful studio, today perhaps Russia's biggest and certainly its most award-winning, and kept it alive despite the tough financial times of the 1990s and despite his refusal to be reduced to doing mindless commercial work.

Anyway, that was later. This article was written in a completely different time period, but it already shows the early vision that would lead him to co-found (with Igor Kovalyov) the Soviet Union's first independent animation studio just two years later.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Making Animation


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Left: Igor Kovalyov, Right: Aleksandr Tatarskiy

Aleksandr Tatarskiy is a director and artist at the studio "Multtelefilm". His works have received top awards at international film festivals in Zagreb, Gabrovo and London, and at national film festivals.

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some of my own thoughts:

The "Lyrical Retreat" section especially is as relevant as ever, both in the West and in Russia. By contrast, Tatarskiy's plea for accelerating the tempo of films in "Lyrical Advance" sounds positively baffling today in an age where most cartoons have non-stop chatter and mindless action, reflecting the rising percentage of children with ADHD. What is more necessary today is a radical slowing down of the pace and teaching children to think and reflect. We need more films like "The Tree and the Cat", "Spring Melodies", and "The Lodgers of an Old House" (links go to videos).