All films in Russian with English subtitles
Thursday, July 20, 7 PM: Masters of Soviet Animation: The Snow Queen and Gena the Crocodile
The Snow Queen (1957, 60 min.) by Lev Atamanov is based on the story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. When the Snow Queen, a lonely and powerful fairy, kidnaps the human boy Kay, his best friend Gerda must overcome many obstacles on her journey to rescue him.
Gena the Crocodile (1969, 20 min.) by Roman Kahanov introduced the classic characters of Gena the Crocodile, Cheburashka, and the old woman Shapoklyak and inspired three sequels in the Soviet Union. Cheburashka is a creature unknown to science. After the zoo rejects him, he becomes lonely and wants friends. Meanwhile, Gena is in the same boat and seeks friendship. The two meet and build a house for the lonely.
Thursday, August 10, 7 PM: Masters of Soviet Animation: Hedgehog in the Fog and Other Classics
The Cameraman's Revenge (1911, 13 min.) is one of Ladislas Starevich’s earliest surviving films and it is also his most famous. In this early example of stop-motion animation, beetles star in this story of love and infidelity among insects.
The Millionaire (1963, 10 min.) tells the story of a bulldog who inherits millions of dollars from his rich owner when she dies. This anti-capitalist film was directed by Vitold Bordzilovski.
The Bremen Town Musicians (1969, 20 min.) is based on the characters of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Town Musicians of Bremen. The film, directed by Inessa Kovalevskaya, became a cult hit in the Soviet Union because of its memorable musical soundtrack, which contains influences from Western rock 'n' roll music.
Hedgehog in the Fog (1975, 10 min.) by Yuri Norstein was ranked #1 by the Laputa Animation Festival where 140 animators from around the world voted for the best animated films of all time. A little hedgehog, on the way to visit his friend the bear, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect.
Tale of Tales (1979, 30 min.) is a reflection on Russian history and memory. Yuri Norstein creates a visual emotional response to a changing Russia, followed in the eyes of the Little Grey Wolf spying on various people's lives, and giving an insight to Russian culture in the 20th Century. Tale of Tales often competes with Hedgehog in the Fog for the title of best animated film of all time.
Commentary on all films will be provided by Julia Alekseyeva, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University.For more information, please call 617-495-4037.