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ClassicStop Motion

A rare Starevich article

Another purchase I made at Cinecon this past Labor Day, was an entire stack of Films In Review magazines, the entire run from 1956 through 1959. I’ve been going through them slowly and enjoying them throughly, finding many great insights and articles about the history of film. There was so little written about animation in these pages that I was surprised to find this piece on pioneer stop motion animator Ladislas Starevich in the April 1958 issue. It’s a nice overview of his career, written while Starevitch was still alive and working. Since I couldn’t find it posted anywhere else on the web, I figured it was my duty – in the interests of history – to add it here myself. (Click thumbnails below to enlarge)

For those who need to brush up on their Starevich I highly recommend the DVD collection, Cameraman’s Revenge & Other Fantastic Tales. In the meantime, here is the one of his classics, from 1933, The Mascot:

  • Saturnome

    We really need in R1 a DVD of Le Roman de Renard. A Masterpiece of stop-motion animation! A hundred of characters, full of camera movements, with details like breathing or saliva, and a really fun main character in a great story. The incredible work of a single man, a film still standing strong against the new productions.

  • Chris Padilla

    In my 100th year anniversary of stop-motion animation retrospective presented at the LA County Museum of Art’s Bing Theatre, Starevich’s “Cameraman’s Revenge” (made in 1911-12) was shown as a silent movie with title cards. It was clearly one of the films that evening that received the most laughs. Featuring dead insects such as grasshoppers and beetles in a classic story about infidelity and jealousy, a British reviewer, according to Wikipedia, at one time had suspected that the insects were alive and trained. That evening at the museum proved the film to be a timeless work and I recommend it to anyone who has yet to see it.

  • Thanks Jerry!

    The website link you provided there is maintained by Starewitch’s own granddaughter.

  • Dave K

    Wow! That was really impressive! The prequel to Toy Story!

  • Starevich is awesome! i love that he animated embalmed dead bugs! ha! i remember seeing a collection of his films at the george eastman house in rochester, ny when i was in college. that dvd would definitely be worth picking up! thanks for reminding me!

  • nick

    I’ve watched a PAL DVD of “Le Roman de Renard” and I agree it’s a simply amazing feat of stop motion including sync singing. It’s fascinating to see see animal characters behave like humans but still retain a distinctive feral quality. Perhaps “Fantastic Mr. Fox” will spark some interest 70 years later.