Sunday, 22 November 2009

Fyodor Khitruk "Icarus And The Wise Men" (1976)

Icarus And The Wise Men takes a well aired tale and squeezes wit and significance out. Icarus dared to challenge the Gods. Well, not exactly Gods here but wise fatheads who lie back amidst the tombstones and regurgitate fatuous sayings that prove man is unable to fly: “What Jupiter may the oxen may not.” They reckoned without Icarus’ determination. Time and again he launches himself from his cliff, plummeting to earth, buried by tombstone after tombstone, only to rise for more. When, lo and behold, he flies, the wise men decree that man cannot, nay, must not, fly. Generations of children have it drilled into them. Teacher says, "Jump" they chant, "How high?" They don’t all listen though. Guess from the screenshot below the bright spark who dares to challenge truth? Soyuzmultfilm’s Fyodor Khitruk wrote and directed the sparingly drawn piece. “The higher you rise the deeper you fall” says the third wise man. Peter Klassen has provided the sub-titles for a subtle piece of work I much enjoyed. A talented man, Fyodor, and I bet many readers of the blog will not have heard of him. In his nineties now, one of the greats of Soviet animation, Fyodor published The Profession of Animation in 2008 and has several great films to his name including an excellent Winnie the Pooh (1969). I have written about another of his films for later in the week.

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