Daily post 04 Feb 2009 08:52 am

Oscars/Khitruk/Norstein/Run Wracke

- For those who haven’t seen all the Oscar nominated short films, bothe
animated and live-action, this is your chance.

On Saturday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’ Day) at
12 noon and 4pm. The screenings take place at:
Academy Theater at
Lighthouse International
111 E 59th Street

Tickets are $5 for general public, $3 for students.


A photo scrapbook of Khitruk through the years.

- The Russian Live Journal site has a display of photos of the opening for a Feodor Khitruk exhibition. Khitruk, at 91, wasn’t able to attend the opening but Yurij Norstein is in attendance (pic #1), as is Edward Nazarov (#2), and Anatolij Solin & Bladimir Zykov (#3).

If you’re a fan of Russian animation, it’s worth a look. All the current masters are there.


Speaking of Russian animation, a 1999 tv opening by Yurij Norshtein was posted on YouTube. Niffwan, who constructed the video there, writes:

    Norshteyn spent a year and a half making this animation for the introduction/conclusion to Good Night, Children (Спокойной ночи, малыши), a popular Russian nightly show for young children to watch before they go to bed. The first part would air before each daily show, the second part after.

    The segment accompanied the show for a while in 2000, and was taken off the air in summer of 2001; the show moved to another channel while the copyright for the sequence stayed with the old one.

    However, the reactions of Russian audiences were largely negative; program director Valentina Prasolova said: “Norshteyn is a famous artist, but he does not make good opening/closing sequences. We get calls and letters every day about this sequence from people who tell us that it is terrible, that it is dark, that children do not want to watch our program.”

The art direction was done by Valentin Olshvang, rather than by Norshteyn’s wife Franchesca Yarbusova. Olshvang is working on Norshtein’s Overcoat team.

The credits for the piece are as follows:

    directed by Yurij Norstein ___written by Yurij Norstein
    artist Valentin Olshvang _____animator Yurij Norstein
    cameraman M. Granik __music A. Ostrovsky ___ sound V. Ugriumov
    produced by Anatoly Prokhorov, Yurij Norstein

Many thanks to Niffiwan at Live Journal for both Russian posts.


- There’s an excellent article about Run Wracke in Res Magazine.

His film Rabbit was a highlight a couple of years back. The follow up film, The Control Master, wasn’t received with quite the same acclaim, though it was equally adept. You might try visiting his site and viewing some of the shorter spots. They’re all fine.

Go here to read it.


3 Responses to “Oscars/Khitruk/Norstein/Run Wracke”

  1. on 04 Feb 2009 at 11:03 pm 1.John Schnall said …

    I’ve gotta say, I love that quote: “Norshteyn is a famous artist, but he does not make good opening/closing sequences.” Everyone who has had to endure client notes, or who has spent a lot of time on a project that doesn’t get it’s notice, has to appreciate the unintended humor of this flippant comment from someone who doesn’t even take the time to spell Mr. Norstein’s name correctly and dismisses him with faint praise…

  2. on 05 Feb 2009 at 12:22 am 2.Michael said …

    You’re right about the absurdity of the comment. However, I have to say the spelling of Norstein’s name is subjective. We’re speaking in English and viewing some of the varied transliterations of his name. They spoke in Russian, and I’m sure, spelled it correctly in the original cyrillic .

  3. on 05 Feb 2009 at 10:32 am 3.Doug said …

    I’ve never seen anything like this Norstein piece before (standalone or as credits) and I must say it does look dark and almost eerie to my Western eyes, accustomed to the candy colors and over the top “sunshine” of our programming. But it is so rich and interesting that once you get over the shock of it – its like a meal instead of a dessert. Thanks for this post.

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