Night on Bald Mountain: An Eery, Avant-Garde Pinscreen Animation Based on Mussorgsky’s Masterpiece (1933)

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If you read Open Culture regularly, I imagine I can safely call Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker your favorite France-based, Russian-American husband-wife pinscreen animation team.


The Adventures of Famed Illustrator Gustave Doré Presented in a Fantasic(al) Cutout Animation

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When we featured his illumination of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” we called Gustave Doré “one of the busiest, most in-demand artists of the 19th century,” who “made his name illustrating works by such authors as Rabelais, Balzac, Milton, and Dante.


A Soviet Animation of Stephen King’s Short Story “Battleground” (1986)

≡ Category: Animation |1 Comment

Stephen King has that rare, and spectacularly profitable, skill to suck you into his world and compel you to flip to the next page. And when you’re hooked, his words have the uncanny ability to simply unfold like a movie in your head. So it isn’t surprising that his books have been widely adapted to the silver screen.


Optical Poems by Oskar Fischinger, the Avant-Garde Animator Hated by Hitler, Dissed by Disney

≡ Category: Animation, History |2 Comments

At a time when much of animation was consumed with little anthropomorphized animals sporting white gloves, Oskar Fischinger went in a completely different direction. His work is all about dancing geometric shapes and abstract forms spinning around a flat featureless background.


Why We Love Repetition in Music: Explained in a New TED-Ed Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Music |4 Comments

Our favorite pop songs have a repeating chorus. You can pretty much bank on that. But, as it turns out, repetition isn’t just a phenomenon in Western music. You’ll find it in many forms of music across the globe.


David Bowie & Brian Eno’s Collaboration on “Warszawa” Reimagined in Comic Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Comedy, Music |2 Comments

If you want to talk about David Bowie, you’ll sooner or later have to talk about Brian Eno.


Dripped: An Animated Tribute to Jackson Pollock’s Signature Painting Technique

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To make an exciting movie, do you really need much more than an art thief and his capers? With Dripped, animator Léo Verrier sees that can’t-miss premise and raises it in an exploration of art history.


Watch Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, the First Animated Movie (1906)

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August and Louis Lumière might have made the first film – a simple, static shot of workers leaving their factory for the day – but George Méliès invented the art form of cinema. Through his experiments, Méliès discovered that magic happened when he turned the camera off and on. People suddenly disappeared into thin air.


How Languages Evolve: Explained in a Winning TED-Ed Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Science, TED Talks, Video - Politics/Society |1 Comment

Language. It’s as adaptable as Darwin’s finches.
It’d be interesting to know how the Internet changes the game. Seems like it would go a long way toward democratizing the process by which lingo gets mingled.


Kafka’s Parable “Before the Law” Narrated by Orson Welles & Illustrated with Great Pinscreen Art

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |1 Comment

On Friday, we featured Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” adapted in 1963 through the work-intensive but aesthetically stunning means of “pinscreen animation” by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.


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