starevich

youtube

Vladislav Starevich, The Old Lion (Two Fables from La Fontaine, 1932)

“A lion mourning, in his age, the wane
Of might once dreaded through his wild domain,
Was mocked, at last, upon his throne,
By subjects of his own,
Strong through his weakness grown.
The horse his head saluted with a kick;
The wolf snapped at his royal hide;
The ox, too, gored him in the side;
The unhappy lion, sad and sick,
Could hardly growl, he was so weak.
In uncomplaining, stoic pride,
He waited for the hour of fate,
Until the ass approached his gate;
Whereat, ‘This is too much,’ he saith;
'I willingly would yield my breath;
But, ah! thy kick is double death.’” [trans. E. Wright]

A slightly closer look at Ladislaw Starewicz

Many people consider Starewicz as an important figure in the history of stop motion but at the same time he is also extremely under recognised, a fact which has not been helped by the confusion surrounding the spelling of his name (Ladislaw/Ladislas/Wladyslaw, Starewicz/Starevich, etc.)

Personally think Starewicz animations were ahead of their time, mostly because of the techniques he used to fill his characters with personality, and the various other things he did to make his stories believable – such as producing motion blur by dangling his fast moving characters on a lightly swaying thread while taking shots. And while Disney can take credit for the first cel-animated feature film, Starewicz was another person to push for long films. The animation for Starewicz ‘the Tale of the Fox’ (1934) was finished three years before Disney’s, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was released in 1937.

Starewicz’ stop motion puppets were rigged with such skill that he could make his puppets express subtle changes in emotion with their faces. Just watch the puppy-like character, Duffy in ‘the Mascot’.

Although it is extremely common for animators to try and instil life into inanimate objects, and the topic of toys coming to life has been explored extensively throughout animation history, I can still see how ‘the Mascot’ could have inspired Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’. Duffy is just as determined as Woody to be with the child who owns him, going as far as risking his life to save hers.

The devilish character within ‘the Mascot’ could easily have influenced Tim Burton/Henry Selik’s designs for Jack Skellington from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. The slender frame and angular features of the devil creature remind me of Jack the Pumpkin King.

I also think that the fairly recent stop motion ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ (2009) is remarkably similar to Renard from ‘the Tale of the Fox’.

So although not many people may have heard of Ladislaw Starewicz his work has had some form of influence on a number of popular films.  

coub

Starevich at work

youtube
6

From Le Lion Devenu Vieux, or The Old Lion (1932) by Vladislav Starevich.  An elderly king dreams of romantic adventures inspired by troubadours outside the palace.  While dreaming, his cabinet deposes him, and he dies, heartbroken, in a cave.

LE ROMAN DE RENARD (1930)

¡Atención! ¡La proyección va comenzar…! Es una película de muñecos animados así que no tiene nada de extraño que, manivela en mano, sea un muñeco el encargado de dar comienzo a la proyección de la misma… Se trata de un pequeño mono de apariencia bufonesca. Después, tras la presentación genérica de lo que se va a ver en pantalla, a cargo esta vez de otro mono de apariencia venerable, las páginas de un libro sirven de excusa para ir presentando en particular a cada uno de sus personajes principales. Renard, el zorro, es el personaje central. Luego vienen muchas historias, pequeñas “fábulas”, que Starewich logra hilvanar dentro de un argumento unitario. Llega el final de la película, Renard se despide de nosotros cerrando el libro Le roman de Renard, y el pequeño bufón proyectista vuelve a aparecer en pantalla y hace reiteradas reverencias al público espectador… Pero una mano sin dueño aparente le agarra por la oreja y le saca fuera de nuestro campo visual, esto es, de la pantalla… Presumiblemente, la mano pertenece a alguien que quiere poner en claro quien manda allí, en su película… Es quizá la mano de un genial artesano, Ladislas Starewich.

Le roman de Renard, la película de Starewich, cuenta, como hemos visto, con distintos niveles narrativos.

Ladislas Starewich nació en Rusia en 1882, pero fue en Francia donde desarrolló buena parte de su obra, a la que se trasladó en 1919. Su primera película es “Lucanus Cervus”, de 1910, y tenía una finalidad más bien científica o didáctica. Starewich quería filmar las peleas de los escarabajos en la época de apareamiento; pero eso no era posible. Se desarrollaban de noche y aplicar la luz necesaria para la filmación hacía imposible que estas peleas se desarrollasen con normalidad. Se decidió entonces reconstruir artificialmente toda la secuencia de lucha, pero utilizando escarabajos embalsamados, a los que dotaba de movimiento mediante la técnica de stop-motion. Así comenzó todo…

Las siguientes películas de Starewich perdieron este carácter didáctico. Siguió trabajando al principio con insectos embalsamados, pero ahora ya no quería Starewich reconstruir artificialmente ninguna secuencia de la vida natural de los insectos, sino que eran roles humanos los que éstos adoptaban en la pantalla.

En 1930 concluyó su gran obra, Le roman de Renard (El cantar de Renard), cuyo estreno mundial tuvo que esperar al año 1937. Basó su argumento en un conjunto de poemas en francés, de los siglos XII y XIII.

Teo Gómez Otero

https://www.facebook.com/LucianoDiesIraeCine


LADISLAS STAREWICH (1882-1965). EL ENTOMÓLOGO CINEASTA. Foto-Comentario. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593328650687819&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Ladislas e Irene Starewich con los personajes de “Le Roman de Renard”. Foto.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593329400687744&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Diseños originales de Starewich para “Le Roman de Renard” (1). Foto.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593330270687657&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Diseños originales de Starewich para “Le Roman de Renard”. (2). Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593330624020955&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Diseños originales de Starewich para “Le Roman de Renard”. (3) Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593330977354253&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Ladislas Starewich y su hija “Nina Star” en 1923. Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593331534020864&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Starewich y su hija “Nina Star” en el estudio de Fontenay. Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593331857354165&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Diseños de Starewich para la serie “Fétiche”. Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593332224020795&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

Diseño original de Starewich. Foto. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=593332607354090&set=a.576204042400280.1073741845.527021270651891&type=1&theater

LE ROMAN DE RENARD (1930) Álbum 322 fotos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.593349904019027.1073741853.527021270651891&type=3

The Cameraman's Revenge (1912) A Silent Film Review

The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912) A Silent Film Review

Before Ernst Lubitsch and Cecil B. DeMille poked their heads into the bedroom, Ladislas Starevich directed this clever marital comedy about a wayward husband, a temperamental wife, a lovely dancer and a jilted cameraman. Of course, what really sets Starevich apart is his cast. You see… the parts are all played by dead insects.
(more…)

View On WordPress

Vladislav Starevich

For my project I like the idea of using a more rough and textural animation, like the work of Vladislav Starevich, this was some of the first stop motion animation to be seen by a wide spread audience, so it was absurd, and almost magic.  it is clear how much technology has advanced within the last century. Yet the grainy and very sinister moving figures, still have a place in modern animation.