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"Adagio" (2000) -is a ten minutes long animated miracle created by
Russian master-animator Garry Bardin. He used paper folding also known
as origami technique in the film because he felt that the idea of
"Adagio" and its visual solution required paper as a perfect material.
It took nine months to produce "Adagio". Bardin and his team of
animators tried to manually move the paper figures, strange half-men,
half-birds creatures, using the trial-and-error method.
"Adagio" which is a philosophical parable exploring the conflict between a hero and the crowd is loosely based on a romantic short story written by the famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky about a young man named Danko and his burning heart. In the story, Danko belonged to a tribe of strong men that were forced by their enemies to retreat into the depths of an old dark forest filled with swamps. Danko, young and brave, believed that there was a way out of dark and hostile forest, and he bravely led the people deeper inside. But soon they started to grumble. Fueled by fear and darkness, frustration and anger grew among them. Danko looked at the people and saw only hatred in their faces, and the flame of desire to save them flared up in his heart.
"This flame of love for his people became stronger and stronger, and suddenly, overpowering the sound of thunder, Danko exclaimed: 'What shall I do for my people?' And he tore apart his chest and tore out his heart and raised it high over his head. It blazed like the sun, even brighter than the sun, and the forest, stunned by this overwhelming love for the people, became quiet. Danko ran forward, holding high his burning heart, lighting the road for the people, and they rushed after him. Suddenly, the forest ended, and they emerged into an ocean of sunshine and fresh air, cleansed by the rain. Danko looked at the free land, laughed proudly and fell dead. And the happy people, filled with great hopes and expectations, did not even notice Danko's death and did not see that next to his body his brave heart still burned brightly. Only one person noticed it and fearing something, stomped on the proud heart and extinguished its flame... "
In his short amazing animation, Bardin was able to meditate on many burning issues - intolerance to different opinions and religions, ignorance and lack of desire to learn the history lessons, suspicion that easily turns to hatred for someone who stands out. It is easier to worship the dead hero than to follow him while he is alive. It is unbearable to see that someone is pure and shining it feels great to smear them, to make them as grey as everyone else around. "Adagio in G minor" widely known as simply Albinoni's Adagio, one of the most frequently recorded pieces of Baroque music, brings tragic and sublime mourning to the film. Well, I can go on for long time about deep meaning of Bardin's images and his pessimistic outlook at the modern society but first and foremost, "Adagio" is a fabulous work of art by an Artist who is known for almost supernatural sense of material. Bardin uses the objects that surround us in everyday life - matches, ropes, wires, and paper as the characters in his animated films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Holy dingleberries, this short really is a little miracle!!! Rarely have I had the pleasure to see so much emotional and visual beauty in a short animated picture. The breathtaking style of it really does touch the soul. It actually induced tears the first time I saw it, I was that moved by the powerful themes of cruel ignorance and redemption. The same in any language, it's a divine little vision of great truth and meaning that's told entirely through wordless poetic imagery, music, and an overall presentation that to me more than makes it a bonified masterpiece of moodful animating. And the figures - it doesn't even matter that they're composed of paper and are not quite entirely human-looking, you just get it, it works.. Even if they all looked like Henry the 8th I would love it just as much! And the music, oh how beautiful it is! Absolute flawless match-up of sound and visuals. It's pure art, and the way that it begins just grabs you right away, with the vaguely penguin shaped forms of the crow-like figures being led through a driving storm by some kind of..messiah? And I guess he must have disappointed them in some way at the end of the long journey because the next thing they all muck up his brightness and tear him apart, and then he is, reborn... I suppose the most obvious subject that you could say it's about would be Jesus Christ, but it's not necessarily just an allegory on Jesus, the figure doesn't really represent anyone specifically, but he does represent someone who is different from the great majority.. It could really mean any number of historical examples where a famous figure stepped forward with a revolutionary message of peace, whom the masses turned on and destroyed then eventually venerated as a martyr. And how tragic at the end when it strongly appears that there's a new outsider to be focused on and scapegoated. Have they truly learned nothing? In its own very different but no less profound way, I think this displays a sharp insight into the fickle and often brutal nature of the human condition at its worst. I'd very much recommend this if you're a fan of the much acclaimed 1989 short called "Balance". This is similar to Balance in that it's black and white and heaped in symbolism and metaphoric value. I liked this one much better though. I loved it, and I'm sure that if you check it out you will an'all! See ya!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SYNOPSIS: It is a simple cartoon with characters made out of figures of
paper with classical Adagio in G minor playing in the background. The
plot is simple as well, gray people are barely walking in dark storm.
But a figure in white then moves fast to lead them and help them.
As soon as the gray people are lead to relative safety, they then try to smear the figure in white with their own greyness, but to no avail; the greyness comes off from the white person almost immediately.
Then the gray people beat and trample the white figure covering it in gray, but it slowly restored to normal shape and white. Then enraged, the gray people tear it to pieces and leave.
Wondrously, the pieces are restored to a shiny white piece of paper, and back into the white figure, which then tears the gray sky in two and is lifted upwards into the clear blue sky.
At this sight, all the gray people are supposedly turned to worshipers of the white figure, each holding a small image of the white figure. Then they notice a single figure in black, and circle it. THE END.
REVIEW: To me, being a Christian by God's grace, this immediately seemed similar to the life, death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ.
For instance, from the New Testament it is known, that Jesus didn't ever sin, and was calling people to repentance and forgiveness of sins.
The whole darkness thing is similar to spiritual darkness of people who have forgotten of God:
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2)
Sinful people who didn't want to repent, instead tried to cause Jesus to sin, particularly the pharisees of Israel, to have reasons to accuse him (i.e. John 8:3-12).
The white figure was torn to pieces, while Jesus was crucified. But both are resurrected and brought to life. The whole tearing of the sky in two is similar to the events following Jesus' death on the cross:
"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split." (Matthew 27:51)
Like the white figure, Jesus was raised into the heaven by GOD as described in Acts 1:1-10. After that, lots of people have believed Jesus was the Son of GOD, and was raised to life by Him - the Christians. Not sure, about the black figure, the first idea that came to my mind about it - is that Satan stands accused before all the people who believe in Jesus Christ.
Thanks to GOD and Lord Jesus Christ for helping me learn and believe in His Son Jesus Christ, for forgiveness of my sins and eternal life, peace and joy beyond this life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Adazhio" or "Adagio" is a French/Russian collaboration from the year 2000, so this one is already over 15 years old. It is one of the more recent works by famous Russian animation film director Garri Bardin and looking at this one here I must say I am pretty disappointed. It runs for 8.5 minutes and a good minute longer with closing credits and I am actually glad that this was so short as it is completely uninteresting in terms of story. The animation is something Bardin could have come up with much much earlier in his career, so I would also call this short film a fairly outdated movie for something from the new millennium. The only solid aspect is the audible side as the music you hear is pretty nice. But you can also listen to a record for that. All in all, this one is not worth watching at all. Major thumbs-down from me.
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