Pushkin House and Stage Russia are delighted to be able to present this rare chance to hear a master of the art of animation give a Q&A session, with Scott Roberts and Michael Earley. Yuri Norstein, award-winning creator of Hedgehog in the Fog is considered by many to be “not just the best animator of his era, but the best of all time”, and will be speaking to us to accompany the online screening of Japanese documentary Making the Overcoat.

Yuriy Norshteyn

You’ll be able to watch Making the Overcoat from the comfort of your home from Wednesday 19th May until Sunday 23rd – then join us live via Zoom on Friday 21st at 6pm BST for the Q&A, which will be led by Professor Michael Earley, dean of performing arts at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, and Scott Roberts, animator, artist and chair and co-founder of the animation program at DePaul University, Chicago.

Making the Overcoat

Yuri Norstein, Russia’s most renowned animator, has crafted many brilliant works, including his award-winning Tale of Tales and Hedgehog in the Fog. He is revered by animation creators across the globe, most notably Japanese masters Osamu Tezuka, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Forty years ago, Norstein began work on an ambitious adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat, but after completing 25 glorious minutes of the film, the project stalled and has been shelved for many years. A Japanese film crew visited Norstein’s studio and found there mountains of sketches, character studies and a shooting table covered with dust. When will his much-awaited work finally be completed? Norstein himself talks about its current status and the anguish and passion that has gone into its creation.

Presented in Russian and Japanese w/ English subtitles. Running time: 109 minutes

Yuriy Norshteyn

Yuri Norstein is the most highly esteemed independent animation artist working today. Through masterfully built vignettes – lyrically nostalgic and imbued with a subtle sense of longing and loss – Norstein builds a landscape of intense emotional resonance. The lyrical visual poetry in his work is synonymous with his craftsmanship. Norstein uses a technique in which two dimensional flat-art is shot on multiple glass planes – a painstaking frame by frame process employed less and less by modern animators as they turn toward digital image making. In opposition, every aspect of the imagery on screen in a Norstein film is handcrafted. His refusal to use computers to speed the work earned him the nickname ‘the golden snail’ for his slow, ardent perfectionism. According to the Washington Post, Norstein is considered by many to be not just the best animator of his era, but the best of all time.