It's Been a Long Time Since Nu Pogodi
February 18, 2009 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Russian animators are making the most out of Flash, with some pretty amazing results.

The animations featured in the article are:

Chevengur, a darkly dystopian piece.

Yellow, inspired by surrealist Daniil Kharms.

Happy New Year, which is anything but.

A Little Girl
- the day in the life of an addict.

Nude
, a piece set to the tune of the Radiohead song of the same name.

Grey, and dark humor in the varying shades thereof.

And last but not least, the two-part epic Animus - Part 1 - Part 2.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (30 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
That first one couldn't have been animated in Flash.
Could it?

Yellow is weird-- almost Salad Fingers weird.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:44 AM on February 18, 2009


While there are some excellent examples of animation there, I'm not sure why they're being describes as 'Flash' animation. The first one, Chevengur, looks to have been rendered in a 3D package. The fact that it's playing in the Flash player means very little; by the same logic every video on YouTube is Flash.

The author of the article doesn't seem to have a clue about what Flash is or how it works.
Many people accuse Flash creators of simply pressing buttons on a keyboard and up pops the finished product.
Many people also accuse blog writers of the same thing...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:49 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Post-preview: Damn you, blockquote!
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:50 AM on February 18, 2009


The first one is the only one I watched... and I was absolutely fucking astounded that somebody had managed to pull off that level of 3D animation in Flash.

I was composing a post about how I have an inferiority complex with regards to the Russians. That their experts invariably seem to be more expert than ours, something about how they spend all their time doing their craft while ours are spending at least a little time participating in Consumer Culture or something like that. That since the only Russian vices are vodka and tobacco, which go just fine with most creative and scientific work, that they're culturally predisposed to produce masters. Or something like that.

But, yeah, idiot blogger incorrectly claiming it's Flash seems more plausible.
posted by Netzapper at 5:02 AM on February 18, 2009


In soviet union, animators flash you.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 5:08 AM on February 18, 2009


I have to admit I don't know nearly enough about animation to be able to tell if something is made in Flash or not - I just kinda took the author's word for it. Maybe by "Flash animation" he meant "animation sequences that you can watch on a Flash player".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:10 AM on February 18, 2009


=dark
posted by GratefulDean at 5:18 AM on February 18, 2009


Not quite Flash, but one of my favorite Russian animators of recent times: Ivan Maximov.

Wind Along the Coast
Slow Bistro
5/4
posted by archagon at 5:40 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interesting - he's been mentioned here before.
posted by archagon at 5:42 AM on February 18, 2009


Sure enough, a gleeful sense of the macabre is never far away. One old Russian joke went, ‘In America you can always find a party but in Russia the party will always find you.'

ATTRIBUTION FAIL
posted by nasreddin at 5:53 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Chevengur is a novel by Andrei Platonov from the 1920s, in case anyone wants background.

Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 6:12 AM on February 18, 2009


Can anyone tell me what the music was for Chevengur? I loved that.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:48 AM on February 18, 2009


Me too - I'm having a really hard time believing these were originated in Flash. If they were, that's painstakingly difficult and amazing, but maybe the author meant they are being conveyed?

Ok; on preview, the latter two looked rather vectory and could have been.
posted by cavalier at 7:03 AM on February 18, 2009


Lipstick Thespian: it's by Arvo Part; I'm blanking out on the name of the piece though.
posted by ook at 7:40 AM on February 18, 2009


Oh, wait -- I'm pretty sure it's Tabula Rasa, now that I think of it.
posted by ook at 7:53 AM on February 18, 2009


One old Russian joke went, ‘In America you can always find a party but in Russia the party will always find you.'
...
ATTRIBUTION FAIL


I gotta say, though, I love that Yakov Smirnoff jokes have risen to the level of old-timey aphorism. Man! The things people will accept as hallowed received wisdom in the future! I shudder with revulsed anticipation!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:08 AM on February 18, 2009


...what will the Russians do with HTML next!?
posted by odinsdream at 9:12 AM on February 18, 2009


In soviet union, animators flash you.

Flagged for please just let this die so we can get on with our lives.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:44 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


So this Russian animation, it Flashes?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:58 AM on February 18, 2009


During the download phase, one of the videos (A Little Girl) caused my bot alarm to go crazy, so anyone tempted to click those without protection is duly warned.
posted by batmonkey at 12:03 PM on February 18, 2009


Daniil Charms is awesome, imagine a much darker version of Lewis Carroll on acid, dying in a psychiatric hospital in a frozen Leningrad in early forties during the siege. This cartoon isn't really based on any of his stuff and isn't very good. And he spelled his own pen-name as 'Charms', not Kharms. And I've read he died in a psychiatric ward not in just any hospital. And also he was apprehended on suspicion of being a spy because he wore really weird clothes, not clothes of an English dandy.
posted by rainy at 4:04 PM on February 18, 2009


And he spelled his own pen-name as 'Charms', not Kharms.

Huh?
posted by nasreddin at 4:08 PM on February 18, 2009


And I've read he died in a psychiatric ward not in just any hospital

More specifically, he died in the psychiatric ward at Kresty, one of Leningrad's central prisons for counterrevolutionaries. He wasn't in for espionage, he was in for "defeatism."
posted by nasreddin at 4:13 PM on February 18, 2009


Animus is really great, she ought to make a full length cartoon in that drawing style. It's just neat as hell. Little Girl is good too, but that song is not 'Krematoriy'. Maybe the song is by the same band, I'm not sure.
posted by rainy at 4:16 PM on February 18, 2009


I just now realized you can sing the post title to the tune of the first line of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". I might have to put that album on now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on February 18, 2009


@nasreddin: Charms wrote in english sometimes and he spelled his name 'Charms'. I think I saw that in one of scans of his working notebooks. It may have been a french spelling, though, but I think Kharms doesn't sound right.. Harms may be better.
posted by rainy at 4:18 PM on February 18, 2009


Wikipedia:
Daniil invented the pseudonym Kharms while attending high school at the prestigious German "Peterschule", probably influenced by his fascination with Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. While at the Peterschule, he learned the rudiments of both English and German, and it may have been the English "harm" and "charm" that he incorporated into "Kharms". Throughout his career Kharms used variations on his name and the pseudonyms DanDan, Khorms, Charms, Shardam, and Kharms-Shardam, among others.
No reference given, but it sounds plausible.
posted by languagehat at 4:45 PM on February 18, 2009


From Russian Wikipedia:

Псевдонимов у Ювачева было много, и он играючи менял их: Ххармс, Хаармсъ, Дандан, Чармс, Карл Иванович Шустерлинг и др. Однако именно псевдоним «Хармс» с его амбивалентностью (от французского «charme» — «шарм, обаяние» и от английского «harm» — «вред») наиболее точно отражал сущность отношения писателя к жизни и творчеству.

[Yuvachev had a lot of pseudonyms, and he playfully exchanged them: Khkharms, Khaarmsъ, Dandan, Charms, Karl Ivanovich Schusterling, etc. But the pseudonym "Kharms" in particular, with its ambivalence (from French charme 'charm' and English harm) was the most exact reflection of the substance of the writer's relationship to life and creativity.]
posted by languagehat at 4:51 PM on February 18, 2009


@languagehat: that's interesting, and I knew that he tried different variations of that name, but I'm wondering whether he ever used 'Kharms' when writing it in latin letters. I bet the english part of Wikipedia was simply translated from Russian. Now it occurs to me that he would not want to use "Charms" in English because it loses all ambivalence, Kharms just sounds completely wrong, and Harms also loses ambivalence but my guess would be that's how he'd want it in English. By the way, I grew up with his children's books and when I got to his other work in high school, it caused quite a bit of cognitive dissonance both because that's what it does and because I thought of him as just an odd children's writer.
posted by rainy at 5:01 PM on February 18, 2009


Thank you for this.
posted by twins named Lugubrious and Salubrious at 1:00 AM on March 8, 2009


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