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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eighty Minutes of Tenderness, Beauty and Perfection, February 2, 2007
By 
Galina (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
I love "Triplets of Bellville" and I admire "Spirited Away" but Yuri Norstein's "Skazka skazok (Tale of Tales)" (1979) is the pinnacle of the genre - what Tarkovsky did in Zerkalo, Norstein had also achieved in his 30 minutes film that was made 28 years ago. His incredible images accompanied by the music of Mozart, Bach, and the famous tango "The Wayworn Sun" - the same one Nikita Mikhalkov used in his film "Burnt by the Sun" - bring to life forever gone but always alive in one's heart happiness, innocence, and memory of the childhood that are indelible from the history of the country and the Artist's search for the beauty and meaning. The images or the war are absolutely heartbreaking. There are no combats on the screen but the scenes with the dancing couples, the men going to the war, and the notifications of death ("pochoronki") flying like birds of death to waiting in hope women: mothers, wives, and sisters are unforgettable. Norstein is known for being a perfectionist - his resume besides "Tale of Tales" includes only five films - combined, they last less than 80 minutes:

"25th - The First Day" (1968)(10 minutes) is Norstein's first film which he dedicated to the first day of the October Revolution of 1917. Norstein combines poetry of V. Mayakovsky, with motifs of K. Malevich and images from K. Petrov-Vodkin, A. Deneka, V. Tatlin, S. Chehonin, P. Filonov, N. Altman, and Yuri Piminov, The score is taken from the 11th and 12th symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich.

"The Battle Of Kerjenets" (1971) (10 minutes) - Fresco and icon paintings in the traditions of the old Russian masters are combined with music from Rimsky Korsakov's opera "Tale of the Invisible City Kitezh" to describe the struggle of Russians against foreign invaders.

"Fox And Rabbit" (1973)(12 minutes) and "Heron And Crane" (1974) (10 minutes) are based on Russian Fairy Tales. "Heron and Crane" marks the beginning of Norstein's collaborations with his wife, the artist Francesca Yarbusova, and a cameraman Alexander Zhukovsky.

"Hedgehog In The Fog" (1975)(10 minutes) is considered by many along with "Tale of Tales" (29 minutes) the best animated film ever made. It is "a little fairy tale" about a hedgehog that one evening, as usual, went to see his friend the bear cub and count the stars and on his way, got lost in the thick fog.

Every minute of every film is perfection itself. Norstein puts a piece of his heart in every single frame of his small gems. He is the Artist and the Humanist - one of the best directors ever, and not only in Animation.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uniquely beautiful, nostalgic and philosophical, September 7, 2008
By 
Yasha (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
I have been a fan of Yuri Norshtein's work since I first saw his animation film "The tale of tales" at 14 years old many years ago. These animation films are very poetic, nostalgic and beautiful. They're also made using a custom-made technique that re-creates fog, perspective and facial mimics - back in the 1970s! The films are slow paced, which is rare now. I have shown and given this as a present to my friends in Spain, Denmark and USA, and they all loved it. This is the best of the best of Russian animation.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, December 11, 2007
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
i was in russia last summer and happened to stumble upon a children's book called "hedgehog in the fog". im not fluent enough to have read the whole book, but the pictures were beautiful enough to make me buy it. with further research i found out about the cartoon, etc, and the minute i saw it on youtube i looked everywhere for a copy to buy.
these are literally some of the most beautiful animations i have ever seen. the stories and the characters are absolutely wonderful. it really puts you in a beautiful place for a while.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!, April 23, 2011
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
This slavic master is not only an official in his artform, but also a communicator, he saw something, he heard lamenting and he portrayed it drammatically in a series of dream-like plays, personally, full of warmth and intimacy.
Great!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best, January 11, 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
I really think he is the greatest animator ever. Some of the scenes in Tale of Tales will haunt you long after the film is over!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning imagination, November 15, 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
Hedgehog in the Mist and Tale of Tales are among the most poetical animations ever. The emotional and narrative complexity of the latter is rendered with a beguiling invention and immediacy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Yuri NORSTEIN, February 10, 2012
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
Magic and emotion ... Russian Yuri NORSTEIN's wonderful animation movies are all the more fascinating as they were created with very limited material and financial means. DVDs proposing his works are only available, in France, through AMAZON.com. : they are sold out everywhere else.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Video quality a bit off, but amazing films, August 6, 2014
By 
Fiona (Seattle WA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC) (DVD)
Yuri Norstein is a genius and these films are mysterious, magical, deeply meaningful. The copies though supplied on this video are not the highest quality, I saw better versions on a PAL format DVD from Russia (no English subtitles though). So just a small quibble and disappointment that the images weren't quite as good as they originally were.
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The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (DVD NTSC)
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