Monday, October 06, 2008

ALEXANDER SHIRYAEV 1: A BELATED PREMIERE

Zapazdavshaja premiera / A Belated Premiere. RU (c) 2003 Miris Cinema. P+D:Viktor Bocharov. DP: Inna Tiktinskaya; AD: Yuri Soloviev; piano: Yulia Simonova, Irina Johansson, Elena Pavlova; mus. extracts: Tchaikovsky, Minkus, Drigo, Pugni , Brahms, Adam, Armsheimer, Bayer; narr. (English version): Christopher Hamilton, Jennifer Gaspar; DigiBeta, 60’, source: Viktor Bocharov. English-language version with e-subtitles in Italian. Viewed at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, Cinema Verdi, 6 October 2008. In the presence of Viktor Bocharov, Daniil Saveliev and Yuri Grigorovich. - David Robinson: "Viktor Bocharov, the St. Petersburg film producer and director, and an outstanding authority on ballet and opera, acquired the Shiryaev archive from Daniil Saveliev in 1995. The first restorations, from the 17.5mm positive prints, were undertaken by David Cleveland of the East Anglian Film Archive, while the 35mm material was transferred to digital format. Using this material, along with photographs and newly discovered documents, many from the Mariinsky Theatre archives, Bocharov assembled this documentary account of Shiryaev’s life and film-making. Including practically all of Shiryaev’s animation work, the film was shown at the Belye Stolby archival film festival in January 2004. This was the first public screening of Shiryaev’s films since they were made. In the intervening years, Bocharov has made many further discoveries about Shiryaev’s life and work, while 31 further rolls of negative have become available thanks to the dedicated restoration work of João de Oliviera and PresTech Laboratories. A Belated Premiere remains nevertheless an excellent and comprehensive introduction to its subject. (...)" (David Robinson). - A wonderful and amazing discovery. This documentary shows in an exciting way Shiryaev's continuous development in 1906-1909 from drawn sketch series to photographed dances to drawn animation and to puppet animation, all fascinating, top of the game.

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