The romantic genius and animated painting of the Oscar winner Aleksandr Petrov at the Imaginaria festival.
(by Eugenia Gaglianone)
World famous artist, Aleksandr Petrov uses to define the technique with which he creates his works “the shortest way from the heart to the animated work”. It is a rather complex technique thanks to which this artist has been able to masterfully combine pictorial talent, creativity and narrative sensitivity: distributed the oil colors on a glass plate, Petrov paints his stories with his fingers, using the brush only in cases exceptional.
For a minute of film it is necessary to paint about a thousand “pictures”; each of them comes to life from the changes made in the previous one in a constant becoming of shapes, colors, shadows and lights. In front of the viewer’s gaze, intense scenes change into one another almost by magic, merging into a film composition of extraordinary beauty.
The narrative force of Aleksandr Petrov is also revealed in the singular choice of subjects that are the basis of his works. Works and motifs of classical literature that are difficult to transpose, not so much for its own fable as for the meanings and profound suggestions that underlie it. With discretion and at the same time intensity, in a feeling pervaded by delicate romanticism, Petrov captures and returns, through the enchantment of animation, the most inexpressible atmospheres and feelings.
Dream and reality intertwine as if to merge in exploring the intimate nature of existence. Thus, we rediscover the yearning for happiness of a simple but pure humanity, as told by Andrei Platonov; the anguished spiral of the Dostoevskian subsoil; the theme of guilt and remorse, seduction and abandonment in the poignant destiny of mythological figures; the changing and restless emotion of those who look out for love for the first time against the backdrop of nineteenth-century novels and, finally, the truth of the fisherman Santiago’s challenge with himself and with the inscrutable power of nature. At Imaginaria Aleksandr Petrov will receive the special prize and accompanying him will be Eugenia Gaglianone, expert in Russian language, literature and history of Russian and Soviet cinema.
Aleksandr Konstantinovič Petrov is a Russian director and animator. He attended art courses at VGIK (Russian National School of Film and Television) and was a student of Yuri Norstein. After making his first films in Russia, he worked on the novel The Old Man and the Sea in Canada. Technically impressive, this film is made entirely as an oil painting on glass. He has received various awards, from the Oscar, the Jutra prize and the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
1988 – Marathon (directed and animated with Mikhail Tumelja)
1989 – The cow (based ofAndrej Platonov)
1992 – The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (based of Fëdor Dostoevskij)
1997 – Mermaid (based of Aleksandr Puškin)
1999 – The old man and the sea (based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway)
2003 – Participation in Winter Days (collective animation film)
2006 – My Love (based of Ivan Šmelëv)