We thought you might like to see a few of the films that we’ve found inspiring in our way along the lanes from here to there, or vice versa. Sit down with a cup of your favourite fuel, wait for the page to finish loading (it might take a while!) and enjoy the ride…
Let’s start with some of the most glorious Russian animations, from Rima’s archive of wonder.
This is ‘Fox and Hare’ by Yuri Norstein
And here is the utterly beguiling ‘Tale of Tales’, also from Yuri Norstein, in three parts.
Here’s ‘The Lion with the Grey Beard’ by Andrey Khrzhanovsky, in two parts.
In fact, you could do far worse than spend the rest of the day lost in Rima’s Russian animation archive on YouTube or surrender to the animation completely by delving into her Other Animation archive. I’m sure everyone would understand… There are marvels beyond words in there.
This is very different. Take a break before you switch back to this world. It’s ‘Live Before You Die’ by Dreamtime Film (Tom Lloyd).
If you like that one, then please watch ‘I Am Alive’ too. They’re both glorious affirmations of life.
Ah, Jan Svankmajer… How much we could say about him and his works… Here’s a clip of ‘Faust’
Now go and watch everything he’s ever done, track down his creations wherever you can, and then come back…
Alternatively, this is ‘Wild Horses of Newbury.’ A very short film, very DIY and a different kind of experience again.
Next, Tony Gatlif. We love Tony Gatlif. The richness of his soul comes through in his films. It’s hard to choose just one, so we chose two. Here’s a trailer for Liberté (Korkoro) from 2009. You can watch the whole film on YouTube, but only in French.
And here’s Latcho Drom. It’s here in its entirety, but it really does deserve a big screen and good sound! Beautiful.
And of course, need it be said, there’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus from Terry Gilliam and co… Strangely, in all the video clips on the internet – including the official trailer – it’s the special effects and drama that feature, and there’s virtually nothing of the truck or the brilliant English magical squalor of it all, which is what (of course) interests us the most. Here are a few stills from the film
Now, here’s a beauty. ‘Horse Drawn Magic,’ a 1979 documentary that follows the Caravan Stage Company through British Columbia and Alberta. ‘The troupe travels an average of 19 kilometres a day with 9 Clydesdales, 5 wagons, 7 riding horses, 2 goats, numerous dogs and 24 performers, not to mention several of the performers’ children.’ Now we’re talking…
I can’t embed it on this page, so you’ll have to go and watch it at the Canadian National Film Board site.
But, on a winter’s night, when the owls are silent and the fire’s crackling in the burner, we like to watch old episodes of The Storyteller, from the time before CGI and everything being all smooth and shiny and ‘perfect.’ This is all wonky and right and we love it – it’s a clip from ‘The Soldier and Death.’
In fact, you can also watch the whole thing here.
So, that’s just a few of our Hedgespoken favourites. There are so many others, of course! Perhaps we’ll have to come back and gather some more here in another post. But, we hope that’s whetted your appetite. Let us know what gems you’ve found out there in the world, and we’ll be sure to take a look!
For now, from the Autumn moor-edge and the owl-heavy night, to the morning, we wish you vivid dreams!
Tom and Rima
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