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The Cameraman's Revenge & Other Fantastic Tales

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Oct 10, 2000)
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$399.99 $58.41

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The legendary Ladislaw Starewicz created some of the most imaginative and loveliest works of puppet animation ever filmed. While working in Russia, he directed his first classic "The Cameraman's Revenge" (1912), a story of love and infidelity among the insects, and the recently rediscovered "The Insect's Christmas" (1913), a dazzlingly beautiful film of the Yuletide celebrations of a Christmas-tree ornament and his tiny friends. After relocating to Paris, Starewicz made the political allegory "Frogland" (1922), the gorgeous hand-colored fable "Voice of the Nightingale" (1923), the irresistible "The Mascot" (1933), and the snowland fantasy "Winter Carousel" (1958). Starewicz's grasshoppers, dogs, frogs, dolls and other creatures portray heroics and follies with an exuberance of humor and invention. They will delight viewers both young and old!

The six shorts on this presentation offer animation buffs a look at the work of the pioneer stop-motion artist Ladislas Starewicz (1882-1965), whose films have been difficult to find in the West. Born in Moscow to a family of Polish origin, Starewicz displayed early interests in photography and entomology. He began experimenting with animation in 1910, when the stag beetles he wanted to film fighting refused to cooperate. These experiments led to The Cameraman's Revenge (1912), a droll tale of insect infidelity. Starewicz's most satisfying films involve insects and other bizarre creatures. The Frogs Who Wanted a King (1922), an adaptation of Aesop's fable, is crowded with the odd little amphibians who petition Jupiter for a king--and pay dearly for their folly. The eerie revels held by a devil doll and his grotesque, skeletal followers in the live-action and animation combination The Mascot (1933) are far more entertaining than the adventures of the little stuffed puppy whose heart is a mother's tear. The scenes of the puppy and the saccharine sequences in The Voice of the Nightingale recall the criticisms leveled at Starewicz's feature, Le Roman de Renard (The Tale of the Fox, 1937): the images are often beautiful, but the pacing is very slow, with little acting in the animation. Contains bizarre imagery and minor violence; suitable for ages 12 and older. --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ivan Mozzhukhin, Olga Obolenskaya, Lidiya Tridenskaya, Petr Lopukhin, Aleksandr Kheruvimov
  • Directors: Wladyslaw Starewicz
  • Writers: Wladyslaw Starewicz, Nikolai Gogol
  • Producers: Aleksandr Khanzhonkov
  • Format: Animated, Black & White, Color, Live, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2000
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Y7HC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,790 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cameraman's Revenge & Other Fantastic Tales" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This charming DVD turned out to be quite a surprise and got me wanting to watch it over and over again. The six short films on this disc are all quite different and span 46 years of animator Ladislaw Starewicz's work (1912-1958), but have in common the most impressive and unusual puppet animation I've ever seen. The first scenes (Cameraman's Revenge) are already most striking: very realistic-looking insects moving and behaving like people in a house, in a very human story about infidelity, complete with a good dose of humour and sarcasm - and all this in the year 1912! The next short film (they average around 10 minutes each, with the exception of "The Mascot" which is 26 minutes) also features insects, and then frogs take centre stage in the third film that deals with a political theme. In all of them I was struck by the realistic and smooth motions of all the 'characters', as well as the humorous storyline. If you have an aversion to insects and/or frogs, you'll be relieved when the fourth film ("Voice of the Nightingale") features birds and a real girl, and this time the film has lovely stencil colour - a technique applied to some early silent films - which makes it look like a soft pastel or watercolour painting, and it perfectly suits the fairytale feeling of this delightful story. Perhaps the most impressive of them all is "The Mascot" which features toys, dolls and other strange creatures coming to life, the mascot being a cute stuffed toy trying to get back home after being taken away with other toys. In this one, animated toys and puppets merge impressively with real street scenes and people, and dolls become so humanlike that it's scary.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Simply amazing work from the man who practically invented stop-motion animation. Films included are:
* Cameraman's Revenge (1912)
The unusual subject of insect infidelity is tackled. The oldest film in the collection, and fascinating - If he didn't used real bugs in this, he used VERY realistic models.
* Insect's Christmas (1913)
A "Santa" ornament jumps of a Christmas tree, and brings Christmas to the banks of a pond for various insects and frogs.
* Frogland (1922)
The story of the frogs that wanted a king. Zeus sends down a succession of undesirable candidates, then (apparently) gets annoyed with the request and sends them a Stork!
* Voice of the Nightingale (1923)
A little girl captures a nightingale. A hand-tinted film, and very beautiful.
* The Mascot (1934)
A dog puppet attempts to help a poor, sick girl by bringing her an orange. Along the way he encounters other toys and a host of demons!
* Winter Carousel (1959)
A bear and a rabbit court a pretty girl bear while playing in the snow.
While "The Mascot" is undoubtedly the prize to this collection, I'm also very fond of "Voice of the Nightingale", a touching hand-colored film combining stop-motion and live action. (trivia - the girl in the film, billed as "Nina Star" is actually Ladislaw's daughter Irene).
My only beef with this release is that it's the exact same films as on the older VHS/Laserdisc release. I know that "Nose to the Wind", "The Dragonfly and the Ant", "Christmas Eve", and "The Lily of Belgium" have been released on other video compilations which are now out of print - couldn't they have gotten some of those added? And when are we going to get to see his masterpiece, "The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard)?
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The Mascot is just one entree of an incredible visual feast by Russian/Polish Animator Ladislaw Starewicz.This is especially true when compared to the poverty of digital imagination we are witnessing today. It is avision of such texture and pure creativity that itcould inspire whole new artistic movements. I had to laugh outloud at the unexpectedness and depth of theimages. This film is made for children. But notchildren as defined by Disney or Hasbro or Sesame Street. Rather for real children who love strange mythologies and flights of dark fantasy. The tale follows the quest of a stuffed puppy doll in search of an orange. (!?) It follows the animated puppy through the city streets of Paris into hell (!) to protect the orange. The little film was made by Ladislaw Starewicz who is credited with being the first man to make stop motion animated stories in 1910. Starewicz is truly the inspiration for the masterfully weird puppet films of the Brothers Quay and Jan Swankmejer. And in someways his little films surpass them.... which is hard to believe. But it's true. Starewicz has a taproot inserted deeply into the soil of arcane ancient Europa.It is a world of puppets and gargoyles, of dolls and devils,of fairytales and medieval woodcuts. The silent qualitiesin this nearly silent film only emphasize the dense textures and old European qualities. There is a deep source of inspiration here for artists, film makers, and humans who still exercize their imagination. This film is featured in a compilation of Starewicz's work entitle THE CAMERAMAN'S REVENGE AND OTHER SHORT FILMS. All of these short films are worth their weight in artist gold.
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