The Animators Who've Spent 40 Years on a Single Film
September 13, 2023 11:45 PM   Subscribe

In 1980, renowned Russian animators Yuri Norstein and Francheska Yarbusova began production on a beautiful stop-motion film called The Overcoat. After 40 years of work, the film remains unfinished, and The Overcoat has taken the record for longest animation production of all time. (SLYT)
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Yuri Norstein's work is extraordinary. I saw The Hedgehog in The Mist about 30 years ago and I've loved it ever since - I'd love to see a modern restored version.

Components from some of his animations were on a wall at The Ghibli museum and suddenly seeing them in person was the only time in my life I've felt like I was having some sort of religious experience. I was suddenly frozen staring at a small wolf and hedgehog, crying in awe. This isn't the sort of thing that normally happens to me, for art or religion.
posted by BinaryApe at 12:39 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]

Here's Hedgehog in the Mist (Fog?). This is a 10-minute short made by the animators a few years before they started working on The Overcoat. According to Wikipedia, "Hedgehog in the Fog was ranked No. 1 in a poll at the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival where 140 animators from around the world voted for the best animated films of all time."
posted by trig at 1:31 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]

Hedgehog in the Fog! It is fog, darnit. Why do I keep calling it Hedgehog in the Mist? I blame those misty gorillas.
posted by BinaryApe at 2:39 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]

No but Mist actually sounds much nicer! And more evocative! (I do not know which is a better match for the Russian title.)
posted by trig at 2:52 AM on September 14

Ёжик в тумане, the prepositional singular of туман:
(meteorology) fog

быть как в тума́не ― bytʹ kak v tumáne ― to be in a fog (state of mind)
posted by zamboni at 5:00 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]

(Yes, but if you look up translations of 'mist' into Russian you also get туман ("Gorillas in the Mist" is Гориллы в тумане...) It's a question of which word's nuances match up best to the source. Also, "hedgehog" and "fog" rhyme while ёжик and тумане don't, so using "fog" introduces a dimension not in the original which may or may not be undesirable.)
posted by trig at 6:24 AM on September 14

It's a question of which word's nuances match up best to the source.

Yes, that's translation for you, but it works both ways. мгле, мгла, mist, haze also appears to mean darkness, so I can see why you might go with Гориллы в тумане to translate Gorillas in the Mist.
posted by zamboni at 7:21 AM on September 14

Mod note: [btw, this has been added to the sidebar and the Best Of blog]
posted by taz (staff) at 3:41 AM on September 16

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