When I returned from Germany a book had arrived for me in the post. Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, translated by Paul Hamlyn, but more importantly illustrated by Jiří Trnka. The book first came out in the late fifties and the version I managed to get hold of from the net was published 68. The book contains some really brilliant illustrations, from what I can tell they’re mostly made from coloured pencils and watercolour, which Trnka used a lot of designing his characters. There’s so little material on Trnka available I was lucky to snatch this whilst I found it; it’s great to have some hard copies of some of the wonderful work he made. Now all I need is for a comprehensive collection of his films on DVD to be released…
I have just discovered that Jiri Barta, master Czech animator who created brilliant stop motion pieces such as Krysař (The Pied Piper of Hamelin, 1985) completed a stop motion puppet feature film in March of this year. The film is entitled Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny? Or In the Attic or Who Has a Birthday Today? in English.
His last film was a rhythmic CG piece which I wasn’t too sure what to make of but from the look of this trailer his latest film looks quite brilliant. There are a few different techniques in there and some really nice puppet animation. I hadn’t heard anything about this at any of the festivals this year but perhaps it will get around a bit next year. I hope so; I would love to see it.
Trnka illustrations from ‘Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales’ published by the Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd