Lithuanian Animation has a history dating back one hundred years. In the beginning was one of the greatest pioneers of animation, self- taught filmmaker Ladislas Starewitch. This retrospective, spanning almost 100 years and lovingly put together by animation historian Dasa Vanova, features puppet, hand-drawn, cutout, shadow theatre techniques and computer generated films and a very dark streak of humour that runs throughout.
Special thanks to the Lithuanian Embassy in London, Daiva Parulskiene, Rita Valiukonytė, Dasa Vanova and the Anifest Festival in the Czech Republic.
Animation historian Dasa Vanova will introduce this screening and take questions afterwards, along with Urte Budinaite, Lithuanian animator, whose film Independence Day is screening.
‘The Insects´ Christmas’ (Ladislas Starewitch, 1913)
A Father Christmas ornament climbs down from a decorated tree and goes to the forest to spread cheer among the insects and frogs. One of the first ever animated films made by the godfather of stop-motion using live beetles and other bugs.
‘The Wolf and the Tailor / Vilkas ir siuvėjas’ (Zenonas Tarakevičius, 1966)
Sometimes a measuring tape, a pair of scissors and an iron are all you need to defeat a wolf. The very first Lithuanian hand-drawn animation is based on a fairytale with a timeless poetic quality.
‘Initiative / Iniciatyva’ (Antanas Janauskas, 1970)
The consequences of selfless assistance and the path to Hell can be paved with good intentions. This film was created as a response to the events of the Prague Spring of 1968.
‘The Tree / Medis’ (Nijolė Valadkevičiūtė, 1983)
A nine-headed dragon chases a girl who is saved by a magic tree.
‘Bogeyman / Baubas’ (Ilja Bereznickas, 1987)
Even a bogeyman can be your friend, once you see through his tricks.
‘The Secret of a Cactus / Kaktuso paslaptis’ (Valentas Aškinis, 1988)
A fairytale about a love that is more powerful than anger.
‘Generosity/Dosnumas’ (Zenonas Šteinys, 1988)
Ranked among the top ten best Soviet films ever, the dreamy images map the basic phases of human life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.
‘The Chair / Kėdė’ (Antanas Janauskas, 1995)
A minimalist classic. Officials change, the chair stays.
‘Metamorphoses / Metamorfozės’ (Jūratė Leikaitė, 1996)
A subtle study of interpersonal relationships set against the backdrop of an old system collapsing and a new one taking place.
‘The Tail / Uodega’ (Rasa Jonikaitė, 2007)
A fox and a wolf, friendship and betrayal, and the relationships between animals and people.
‘Bridge / Tiltas’ (Ieva Miškinytė, 2007)
Based on a Franz Kafka story – cut-outs, hand-drawn images and photo’s collide to depict a philosophical story of life’s continual challenges.
‘Ragana – A Witch´s Magic / Ragana – raganos burtai’ (Antanas Skučas, 2008)
This witch has made a pact with the devil – and everything goes into the mix.
‘Synchronization / Sinchronizacija’ (Rimas Sakalauskas, 2009)
A film for lovers of drifting, rotational objects – starring a library of abandoned factories, towers, chimneys, antennas, electricity installations and other devices.
‘Independence Day’ (Urte Budinaite, 2012)
A man escapes the radio looking for freedom. At least he finds his lost hat.