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An evening with Yuri Norstein

February 8th, 2010

Last Friday, we had the privilege of going to a screening and Q&A with renowned animator and filmmaker Yuri Norstein. For those that aren’t familiar with his work, I highly recommend checking them out, particularly “A Hedgehog in the Fog” and “Tale of Tales.” Though his technique is much more complex than what I’m going to attempt to describe, he basically uses cutout puppets on a multi-plane set up (downshooter with several glass shelves to create depth).

It was a real treat to be able to see the films on an actual print, the colors and textures were much more vibrant and fulfilling. The Q&A session with (my former teacher) Igor Kovalyov and Yuri was also eye opening and humbling. It’s inspiring to see artists never giving up on their craft and continuing to pursue their vision despite worldly difficulties. Yuri struck me as the kind of person with a keen sense of self-awareness and purity of thought.

One last thing, those that attended also had a chance for a sneak peak at his feature film (being produced since 1981!) “The Overcoat.” It was silent and black and white, but man what a masterpiece! The level of detail and subtle acting is astounding. I hope he gets to finish it, I would love it if a company would have the guts to finance it.

Here are some photos:

Q&A session

Yuri talks about his films and life.

Yuri signs my book, Igor is in the background.

Yuri signs my book, and Igor is in the background.

Tale of Tales book cover

The cover of Yuri's book.

book autograph

Yuri's autograph

"A Hedgehog in the Fog" print

The print for "A Hedgehog in the Fog."


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