06 September 2009

Short Animation - Tower Bawher (2006)

Here is short description of the film as it appears at the website of National Film Board of Canada, that actually produced it:
Tower Bawher is like a whirlwind tour of Russian constructivist art, and filmmaker Theodore Ushev pays homage to the movement with cascading, energetic animation. Constructivism was born out of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and Tower Bawher is filled with visual references to artists of the era (including Vertov, Stenberg, Rodchenko, Lissitsky and Popova), who saw their art as being in the service of the people. The work of these artists was a key part of the cultural landscape in Ushev's native Bulgaria. Over the same stirring Georgy Sviridov music that opened the Soviet regime's nightly newscast in the 1970s, Ushev highlights line, form and dynamic rhythms in place of volume and static mass. The title of the film is an allusion to constructivist architect Vladimir Tatlin's tower, conceived in homage to the glory of the proletariat. Drawing on the tower's design, the movement in the film draws us continually upwards towards a utopian summit. But in the end, all of the grandiose, futuristic forms that point to a glowing future wind up crashing under the weight of ideology. In Tower Bawher Ushev celebrates the genius of constructivist artists, while also offering a scathing commentary on art in the service of ideology. A film without words.

The energetic music piece, called Time, Forward!, was composed by Georgy Sviridov in mid 60's, as a theme to the Soviet movie by the same name. Something about lives of a workers building a new factory, trying to finish the work ahead of scheduled time, and ready to work non-stop in the name of Revolution and for the glory of USSR. As title indicates, it's all about progress and moving strong into the bright future, which according to that time, was socialistic.
Later, the music became among most recognizable in Soviet Union, because it became the background theme for the opening intro of main news broadcast, coincidentally called Time as well.

Just to show you example of Russian constructivist art, the style that inspired this short film, here is couple of examples.

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