Tale of Tales
Posted on: April 3, 2007
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This clip is from a 1979 short film directed by Yuri Norstein, written by playwright Ludmila Petrushevskaya and is based on his childhood memories. It is Norstein's masterpiece and generally considered one of the greatest animated films ever made. It was the third collaboration among Norstein, his wife, the artist Francesca Yarbusova, and cameraman Alexander Zhukovsky. Zhukovsky photographed houses and even old cars in the Moscow neighborhood where Norstein grew up, and Yarbusova turned them into art. This film was difficult from the onset and made studio administrators and film ministry censors very nervous. The first script was rejected. The second was approved, but after four months of preparation production was halted for a year. It took Norstein thirteen months to complete the film, which was then rejected by state film censors who were terrified of possible hidden meanings. They rejected the original title There will Come a Little Grey Wolf. Norstein, without much thought, suggested Tale Of Tales, a phrase from a Turkish poem by Nazim Hikamet. After considerable lobbying by Fyodor Khitruk and numerous foreign film critics, Tale Of Tales was finally approved for distribution in November 1979 when the team of Norstein, Zhukovsky and Yarbusova received the prestigious "All State" Award for Hedgehog in the Fog and Heron and Crane.
This film is 30 min. long and can be watched in its entirety on the Masters Of Russian Animation DVD set - an extraordinary collection of Russia's most important animated short films by Russia's world renowned directors.