Night on Bald Mountain (1933)

Article 2105 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-20-2006
Posting Date: 5-18-2007
Directed by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker
No cast

Weird and eerie visions permeate a playing of Moussorgsky’s masterpiece.

I didn’t feel that yesterday’s THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN really deserved to be compared with Disney’s take on the Washington Irving story, but I freely invite anyone who wishes to to compare this visual representation of the Moussorgsky composition with Disney’s; this one is strong enough hold its own. It uses a rare type of animation known as pinscreen, in which pins are pressed into a screen lit from the side to produce some stunning shadow effects. The downside of this process is that sometimes it is hard to make out what you’re seeing, but the texture is unique, and some of the transitions (especially one in which the scene turns into its own negative) are breathtaking. There’s no plot to speak of, but plenty of moody horrific visions, including a scarecrow, ghostly faces and a dead horse. This is a rare and fascinating animated short that is worth catching.


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