Achooo Mr. Kerrooschev (1960)
Article 5621 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Stan Vanderbeek
Featuring Nikita Khrushchev
What it is: Experimental collage animation
No real plot; just bizarre images.
For the record, Nikita Khrushchev does not appear in this experimental short as an actor. However, photos of him (usually of his head) are featured prominently throughout the film. The second thought that ran through my head as I watched this was that I don’t suspect Mr. Vanderbeek is particularly fond of Mr. Khrushchev. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that the animation mostly consists of Khrushchev’s head appearing in place of someone else in a series of photos, and is only chased off when a hammer shows up to pound on him, and this certainly does not indicate (to me, at least) any great affection for the man. Of course, since this was my SECOND thought upon seeing the short, you’re probably wondering about my first thought. Well, that was that of all the things I’ve seen so far, this short bears a striking resemblance to the Terry Gilliam animations in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”; you could add this short to any one of their TV episodes and it would look perfectly in place. I do wonder if Gilliam had seen any of Vanderbeek’s work prior to his work with the comedy group.