Pierrot Artists (Пьеро художники, 1906) by Aleksandr Shiryayev

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Pierrot Artists
Пьеро художники
Pyero hudozhniki (ru)
Пиеро художники (bg)

Year 1906
Director(s) Shiryayev Aleksandr
Studio(s) (no studio)
Language(s) (wordless)
Genre(s) Comedy
Animation Type(s)  Puppet
Length 00:05:32
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(No subtitles available)

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Description:

Two Pierrot-clowns perform a humorous skit on a stage. One of the very first examples of puppet animation.

Shiryayev was a ballet dancer and balletmaster for the Mariinsky theatre, and it was discovered recently that he was also a pioneer of animation. From 1906-1909 he made over 50 minutes of animation using various techniques, but this is the only one that can be seen online in its entirety right now (and unfortunately, the image resolution is not great). This is actually a clip from the 2003 documentary about him, which also contains footage of some of his other films.

At the 4-minute mark, the narrator says that in this film Shiryayev used dances from the ballet Fairy of the Dolls (Фея кукол), and that the Pierrot on the left moves very similarly to Shiryayev himself. She also notes that his puppets move through the air, and we cannot see how they are being held. This film required 7776 separate puppet compositions (frames). His relatives remembered that the wooden flooring in the room where Shiryayev filmed his animated films had become worn all the way through to the earth because of how often he walked from the camera to the stage and back again.

 

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