Skazka skazok (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Skazka skazok (1984)

Skazka skazok





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Skazka Skazok (Tale of Tales) is a 27-minute animated short film, considered the masterpiece of influential Russian animator Yuri Norstein. Told in a non-narrative style by free association, the film employs various techniques including puppets, cut-outs, and traditional cell animation. Using classical music and '30s jazz tunes instead of dialogue, it's a mood piece based on the Russian lullaby roughly translated, "Go to sleep, or the little wolf will carry you away into the woods." The little wolf is the only reoccurring character and he does end up carrying a crying baby through the woods. The rest of the highly symbolic images are constructed to resemble what Norstein calls a "visual memory," using images from his own memories. Traveling trains, falling snow and leaves, abandoned cars, and dancing couples all come into play. Picasso's Minotaur, Alexander Pushkin's literary characters, and other figures from history and art interact on a two-dimensional plane. One particular scene involves a little boy eating an apple in the snow. He tries to share his apple with some crows, but his drunken father drags him away. Tale of Tales was named "the best animated film of all time" by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival and was made available in the U.S. on the DVD Masters of Russian Animation from Jove Films. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Animation, Art House & International, Special Interest
Directed By:
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Audience Reviews for Skazka skazok


Wow. I'm a bit at a loss for words to describe the stunning beauty of this film. The images are so gorgeous and wistful and artful. The animation is somewhat "crude", but often deceptively so... there's nothing amateur about the brilliant use of mixed media, or the breathtaking lighting effects. The story is rich with symbolism, much of which I'm sure is deeply rooted in Russian folklore and flew way over my head. Even without always being able to fully understand the significance of what I was seeing, I could feel the weight of nostalgia and melancholy, the dreamlike atmosphere, the simple poetry of a particular sequence. Lovely use of Bach and Mozart as well. What an impressive and touching piece of work.

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