Friday, 18 March 2011

Review on Ladislaw Starewicz

Review on Ladislaw Starewicz

 Ladislaw Starewicz

Ladislaw Starewicz never intended to make animation, but he stumbled across it by accident while filming a documentary on stag beetles. One of the beetles died, so he experimented with stop motion using the dead body of the beetle, as explained by Philip Kemp on 'Although he was a talented cartoonist whose work appeared in newspapers, Starewicz never set out to be an animator. His first films were documentaries, stemming from his interest in landscape and natural history. Only when he tried to make a film about the mating battles of stag beetles did he stumble by chance into stop-action. The beetles proved uncooperative and one of them died, from which Starewicz realized that he could wire up the corpse and, by moving it one frame at a time, make it "perform" as he wanted.' (Kemp, 2011) His films were never hardly noticed until 1983 at the Edinburgh Film Festival. His films then became widely known and popular, with their witty and inventive style, as mentioned by Eric Schneider on 'Bizarre, witty, inventive and often startlingly surreal...Starewicz's films defy conventional expectations of animation. ''Since then, many of his films have undergone restoration, and have been showcased at various animation festivals around the world. A handful are finally available on videotape.' (Schneider, 2000) One of his films called; The Mascot which features toys, one of which in a struggle to return home. It gives the impression of despair and struggle, as you see the main character, a toy puppy desperately trying to save his orange from the evil toys and return home with it. At some moments you feel that the puppy has lost all hope in achieving his goal, as explained by Adrian, Danks on 'His films are often joyful but somewhat cruel celebrations of movement, featuring characters that are often one step or ''stop'' away from annihilation.' (Danks, 2011)

 The Mascot

List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Starewicz, Ladislaw (1941) Ladislaw, Starewicz. [Photograph] At: (Accessed on: 18.03.11) 

Figure 2. Starewicz, Ladislaw (1933) The Mascot. [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 18.03.11)


Danks, Adrian (2011) Senses of Cinema. (Accessed on: 18.03.11)

Kemp, Philip (2011) Starewicz, Ladislaw. (Accessed on: 18.03.11)
Schneider, Eric (2000) Entomology and Animation: A Portrait of An Early Master Ladislaw, Starewicz. (Accessed on: 18.03.11)

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