Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea

In 1997, Russian animator Alexander Petrov singlehandedly painted a movie, morphing the pastel oil paint on glass, frame-by-frame with his fingertips.

(Part 1 of 2 above) The resulting filmed version of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” is full of sensitive observations, aided by an evocative musical score and good sound design. It won the Academy Award in 1999.

(Part 2 of 2 above) Even though the dubbed track is in Japanese, the story of an old man catching a big fish is clear enough. Other forms of animation may have smoother action, but Petrov’s kinetic canvas conveys the brutal physical conflict of Hemingway’s story, as well as its stark poetry.

Thanks, Christian.
Direct link to YouTube Video, Part 1 and Part 2
Wikipedia page on Alexander Petrov


Christian Schlierkamp said...

There's also a nice making of on Petrov's last animation short "my Love" on youtube, where you see how he establishes first a rough storyboard and then a drawn pencil-test:
(in russian)
What I find so fascinating about Petrov is that he translates the classical painting approach (and thus the same developping process: thumbnail sketches -> storyboard, charcoal studies -> pencil test...) into animation, adding time to a realist painting.
Thanks, James! :-)

Steve said...

Wonderful work, thanks for introducing it to me. I wonder if Petrov was influenced by Frédéric Back. Back's 1987 Academy Award-winning short animated film, The Man Who Planted Trees, has a similar look and feel.

Kessie said...

That is utterly amazing. It's like watching an animated painting--you couldn't even call it a cartoon. Wow. Just wow. And you don't even have to deal with Hemingway's run-on-sentence prose!

Rosanna P. Brost said...

Gorgeous. This is mastery of a medium at its finest. Since even doing a pencil test is exhausting, the fact that each frame of this is painted is something that is utterly amazing. He must have worked on this for at least a year, at minimum a lot of months! Thanks!

Norman Boyd said...

Hey James

If you're open to suggestions take a look at the classic "Man who planted trees" Part One - and follow the links to the other 3 parts. This version on Youtube is better than the complete one, which looks as if it's transferred from VHS. And soley because I had the VHS, this one too - "The Happy Prince" The music score is...delightful!