Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gimpel the Fool Animation

Note: Don't be concerned that the first words you hear are Yiddish: the English dialogue starts at around two minutes and 23 seconds in. Also, Youtube had a strict ten minute limit when this video was uploaded, so here's a link to part 2.

Today I have for you a wonderful follow up and compliment to my review of the short story collection Gimpel the Fool, by Isaac Bashevis Singer. It is a cartoon adaptation of the first and eponymous story, a low tech hand-drawn piece, done in the early nineties by a man named Ezra Schwartz. Schwartz used, in his words, "about 10,000 paper frames" to create the movie. Each frame, in turn was composed of several layers of typing paper; Schwartz says he used about 80,000 sheets in all. The animation is accompanied by a beautiful original soundtrack and occasional Yiddish dialogue mingles with English, the main language of this adaptation. The movie took eight months for Schwartz to draw, and has since been screened at well over a dozen film festivals, between 1994 and 2006.

One can read more about the animation, including full credits, a list of screenings, and a few thoughts from the creator's own mind, here, at the page he obviously set up for the purpose.

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