October 3, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Russian animator Yuri Norstein will discuss his craft and show his films on Friday, Oct. 27, in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Two short animated films, Tale of Tales and Hedgehog in the Mist, will be screened at 3 p.m., followed at 4 p.m. by a talk by Norstein (in Russian with simultaneous translation), illustrated with portions of other films. The lecture and films, sponsored by the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World and the Amherst College Department of Russian, are free and the public is invited.

At the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival in 1984, an international panel selected Yuri Norstein’s Tale of Tales as “the best animated film of all time.” The Independent (London) wrote that his films were “mysterious, allusive, poetic.” In 1981 Norstein began work on an ambitious animated adaptation of Gogol’s “The Overcoat.” This work is still in progress, and about 20 minutes of it will be screened at his talk at Amherst.

Born in 1941, Norstein studied animation in the Soviet Union and started working at Soyuzmultfilm Studios in Moscow in 1961. He worked for years with Russian animator I.P. Ivanov-Vano before making his own films. The winner of many awards, including a medal from the International Union of Journalists for his contributions to the development of animation and films for young people, Norstein is also a painter and illustrator.

Jane Taubman, professor of Russian at Amherst, says that “Norstein’s films are for both children and adults, who perceive them on different levels.” To view RealAudio or Windows Media Player clips of Norstein’s films, go to http://www.wildbrain.com/showcase/int_yuri_norstein.html