“Arithmétique” by Giovanni Munari and Dalila Rovazzani “Arithmétique” by Giovanni Munari and Dalila Rovazzani

“Arithmétique” by Giovanni Munari and Dalila Rovazzani

Who’s afraid of Arithmetic? A beautiful graduation film by Giovanni Munari and Dalila Rovazzani for Italy’s Experimental Film Center (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia), based on Ravel’s Opera The Child and the Spells. More art and info at their production blog.

  • Timesquared

    Plays like those Chuck Jones “Ralph Phillips” toons on Acid.

  • A very interesting film. There’s a unique style of movement here; I hope to see future films which develop it further. The score is near brilliant.

  • Maurice Ravel, the composer of “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” died in December of 1937, one week after the premiere of Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Ravel never saw the film, but his brother Edouard did and commented that “this is the way ‘L’Enfant et les Sortilèges’ should be presented.”

    The opera (with a libretto by Colette and a running time of 45 minutes) has long intrigued artists. At the Disney Studio it was one of numerous pieces considered for a “Future Fantasia.” And Maurice Sendak designed a production in the late ’80s.

    According to John Canemaker’s book “The Art and Flair of Mary Blair”:

    “[Mary’s] last professional credit was shared with Lee [Blair] for slide-show illustrations for a San Francisco Symphony Orchestra concert of Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les Sortilèges’ in 1974. But it is obvious that Lee did all the drawings.”

    And one last bit of trivia: George Balanchine, the choreographer whose ballet for Vera Zorina in the film “The Goldwyn Follies” (1938) was parodied in “Fantasia”‘s “Dance of the Hours,” created the dances for “L’Enfants”‘s 1925 Monte Carlo premiere.