Андрей Свислоцкий [Andrei Svislotskiy] (1991)

Master and servant. Antigravity. Birds and eggs. Gigantic pig. Unsent letters. Woman with sickle. Breakup. Aftermath.

A very obscure story of two suspicious-looking men engaged in mysterious activities. Hardly in my book of (not?) making impressions.

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Flying Nansen (1999)

One doggedly persistent man against everything – the elements, bears, intruding gay paratroopers, love, the northern lights, even gravity itself.

Indecipherable, weird, alluring. Not in my book of norwegian explorers.

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Bird in a Window (1996)

Dense, dark, dysfunctional. A man returns to an unusual relationship in a building populated by some rather mysterious characters.

Fast-moving and slow at the same time. Intriguing, though not in my book of family matters.

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Milch (2005)

Ambiguous glances, incomprehensible talk, mysterious happenings, and strained relations. Love, infatuation, desire, or pure lust? Well, her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Highly suggestive, but not in my book of gibberish.

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Его жена курица [Hen, his wife] (1990)

Man? Woman? Pet? Visitor? Igor Kovalyov’s odd and slightly disturbing domestic tale has an almost Lynchian mood to it.

Strange family, weird story, enigmatic ending. Fascinating, experimental, and award-winning – though not in my book of poultry.

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Ivan Maximov

Repetition and variation. The playful surrealism of animator/director Maximov is almost instantly recognizable with its abundance of bizarre creatures, soft forms, deliberate pacing, unexpected transformations, and seemingly meaningless occurrences.

Delightful explorations of visual ideas, most often with nicely-fitting sound and music. Seldom very impressive storywise, but still probably in my book of pictorial imagination and lifetime achievements.

My special favourite: Длинный мост в нужную сторону [Long bridge of desired direction]


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Krtek ve městě (1982)

A cute mix of jolly slapstick and childish environmentalism. Endearing characters, nice artwork, lovable voices.

Zdenek Miler’s animated short about a little mole and his friends is solid entertainment, though not special enough for my book of man versus nature.

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La joie de vivre (1934)

Ten minutes of artsily animated frolicking, dancing, chasing, fluttering, bathing, flying, escaping – a short symphony of long legs and billowing skirts, electricity and levers, bicycles and trains.

Thoroughly enjoyable and rather innocent, despite the very obvious male gaze. And lively enough, despite the abundance of repetition. Maybe in my book of movement.

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L’Idée (1932)

Didn’t even know about the »wordless novels« of the inter-war era, but apparently they were a thing in certain circles. This is Berthold Bartosch’s animated adaption of one such novel by Frans Masereel.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach the graphic power of the original woodcuts. Too slow, in parts quite crudely executed, and with rather dubious symbolism in an overly high-strung tone. Not in my book of lofty intellectualism.

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Ветер вдоль берега [Wind along the coast] (2004)

Almost no narrative at all, just a bunch of odd cuties trying their best to cope with severe coastal winds – accompanied by a hectic and jazzy beat.

Absurd, funny, visually inventive. Not really sure if this one qualifies for my book of fish-milking.

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