Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen

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This month, as a part of  UK/Russia year of culture, London’s GRAD (Gallery for Russian Arts and Design) is bringing together a collection of 1920s Soviet silent cinema posters. The collection includes 30 works by the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg, Yakov Ruklevsky, Aleksandr Naumov, Mikhail Dlugach and Nikolai Prusakov, many of which are exhibited in London for the first time. To represent the connection between the posters and the films GRAD is screening excerpts of 1920s Russian films alongside the prints.

During the 1920s the silent cinema flourished in the Soviet Union. Since the film was seen as a powerful propaganda tool, the Government encouraged the work of an emerging generation of artists. Films such as Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925), which is regularly picked as one of the ten most important films in film history as it used innovations such as montage and careful editing, gained international acclaim. Under the umbrella of Sovkino, the Reklam Film department was producing and distributing the posters across USSR. Its helm was the designer Yakov Ruklevsky, who engaged numerous talented young artist.

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“Created by those directly involved in, or inspired by the main avant-garde art movements of the time, including Malevich’s Suprematism and photomontages made famous by of El Lissitzky, the colour-blocking apparent on many of the posters echoes Russian artist Aleksander Rodchenkno’s view that all painting is a combination of three colours: red, blue and yellow” (Weatherup, 2014).

Influenced by the Constructivism and Suprematism, the designers used vivid colour blocking and typographic experiments to promote black and white films. However, this use of bold colour blocks was as much a technological necessity as it was an ideological one. To create their distinctive and influential designs the artists were using techniques such as cinematic montage, repetition, asymmetric viewpoints and dramatic foreshortenings in creation of both posters and films.

IMG_20140204_145102The Real Gentleman, Stenberg Brothers, 1928
American productions were very popular in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and the profits were used to subsidise domestic films.

Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen is on show at Gallery for Russian Arts and Design until 29 March 2014.

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Bibliography:

  1. Constructivism (2004) in: The Thames & Hudson dictionary of design since 1900, London: Thames & Hudson. Available from:<http://search.credoreference.com.arts.idm.oclc.org/content/topic/constructivism?searchId=2201629175831283500> [Accessed 13 February 2014]
  2. Cultural development (2004) in: Eastern Europe: An introduction to the people, lands, and culture, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Available from: <http://search.credoreference.com.arts.idm.oclc.org/content/entry/abcee/cultural_development/2?searchId=1760350259580285400&result=9> [Accessed 13 February 2014]
  3. In pictures: Soviet posters of the silent screen (2014), BBC. Available from:  <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-26015198> [Accessed 13 February 2014]
  4. Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen (2014), GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, [Internet]. Available from: <http://www.grad-london.com/whatson/kino-film-soviet-posters-of-the-silent-screen/> [Accessed 13 February 2014]
  5. Weatherup, J.K. (2014), Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen in: AnOther Magazine, ANOTHER PUBLISHING LTD. Available from: <http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/3396/KinoFilm_Soviet_Posters_of_the_Silent_Screen> [Accessed 13 February 2014]

10 Animators

As a part of our CTS course we were asked to make a list of 10 animators from 10 different countries, from 5 different continents. This is my list:

Juan Pablo Zaramella – Argentina
Juan Pablo Zaramella (born 1972) is an independent director and animator. His last short film “Luminaris” has won more than 300 international awards, including the Audience Award and Fipresci Award at Annecy 2011, and was part of the Oscars Shortlist for Best Animated Short 2011.

Lapsus:


For more: http://www.zaramella.com.ar

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Donyo Donev – Bulgaria
Donyo Donev (1929 – 2007) was a Bulgarian animator, director, and cartoonist. He is known as the “father of The Three Fools” – an animated humorous sequence released in 1970s – 1980s. 

The Intelligent Village:

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Tomm Moore – Ireland
Tomm Moore (born 1977) is an Irish illustrator, comics artist and filmmaker. He is co-founder of Cartoon Saloon, an animation studio and production company, based in Kilkenny, Ireland. His first feature film, The Secret of Kells, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film on 2 February 2010.

The Secret of Kells trailer:


For more: http://www.cartoonsaloon.ie

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Ivan Maximov – Russia
Ivan Leonidovich Maximov (born 1958) is an artist, professional animator and director.

Provincial School:


For more: http://ivanmaximov.ru

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Marek Skrobecki – Poland
Marek Skrobecki (born 1951) is a Polish director of animated films, mainly using classical puppetry techniques. He works with the film studio Se-ma-for in Lodz.

Danny Boy:

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Sylvain Chomet – France
Sylvain Chomet (born 1963) is a French comic writer, animator and film director.

The Triplets of Belleville:

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Ryan Larkin – Canada
Ryan Larkin (1943 – 2007) was a Canadian animator, artist, and sculptor who rose to fame with the psychedelic Oscar-nominated short Walking (1968) and the acclaimed Street Musique (1972). He was the subject of the Oscar-winning film Ryan.

Walking by Ryan Larkin:

Ryan by Chris Landreth:

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Kōji Yamamura – Japan
Kōji Yamamura (born 1964) is a Japanese independent animator and illustrator. His animation spans a variety of media, but has latterly come to concentrate on traditional animation. Two of his most famous and acclaimed films are the Academy Award for Animated Short Film-nominated and Cristal d’Annecy-winning Mt. Head and the Ottawa Grand Prize and Ōfuji Noburō Award-winning A Country Doctor. His 2011 short film Muybridge’s Strings was one of five animated shorts nominated for Genie Award.

A Child’s Metaphysics:

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Blu – Italy
Blu is the pseudonym of an Italian street artist who conceals his real identity. He lives in Bologna and has been active in street art since 1999.

In 2006, during one of his trips in Germany, Blu made his first digital animation from images painted directly on a wall, a technique that would be a recurrent theme of many of his future videos such as Muto.

In 2007, Blu went to London for the first time where he made many pieces around Camden Town and Willow Street, and at the former headquarters of art-gallery website Pictures on Walls. That same summer he took part in a two-man exhibit with Ericailcane at the Lazarides Gallery. The following year, the Tate Modern presented an exhibition on the phenomenon of street art and invited Blu, along with J-R, Faile, Sixeart, Os Gêmeos and Nunca, to paint its entire main façade (http://www.tate.org.uk/about/press-office/press-releases/street-art-tate-modern).

Big Bang Big Boom:

For more: http://www.blublu.org

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Anthony Lucas – Austalia
Anthony Lucas is a director and producer, known for The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005, nominated for an Oscar), The Turning (2013) and My Rabbit Hoppy (2008).

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello: