Oct 10, 2012

Hedgehog in the Fog

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      Hedgehog in the Fog [Ёжик в тумане] by Yuri Norstein (1975)

      One of my favorite stories of all time is "The Overcoat" (1842) by Nikolai Gogol. This lovely little tale of woe follows a humble bureaucratic drudge by the name of Akaky Akakievich as he scrimps and saves for a new overcoat. I just got myself an overcoat. It's thick and black and warm - and rather than consult my zealous tailor, Petrovich, I bought one ready-to-wear. 

      Yuri Norstein is one of my best-loved animators. Not only does he have an appreciation for hedgehogs, owls, and bears, he has also been working on a film adaptation of "The Overcoat"!  Norstein started work on this feature-length magnum-opus in 1981 but there's still no end in sight... Since its inception, the project has suffered many setbacks, including the loss of the project's cinematographer and Norstein's close friend Alexsandr Zhukovskiy. Dear Yuri, how sad. You can take a little glimpse of Norstein's process in this little tour of his studio. I hope that someday the world will be able to experience a full telling of this Russian classic through the eyes of one of Russia's finest visual storytellers. 

Still frame of Nikolai Gogol's Akaky Akakievich from Yuri Norstein's yet-unfinished "The Overcoat"
Still frame of Akaky Akakievich from Yuri Norstein's yet-unfinished "The Overcoat"

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