The Case of the Artist

In 1962, Khrushchev made his antipathy toward abstract art publicly clear. But since the death of Stalin, the cultural atmosphere had become more tolerant. While it was not recognized by the state, “unofficial” art was permitted to live as its own movement. This propaganda piece equates abstract art with Western falseness, but it is clear that the film makers adored that art. Some of the best abstract painting in animated film I’ve seen. There is even a spoof of Jackson Pollock at work. By comparison, the “positive” realist art for “the people” comes across as falsity, especially at the wind-up. The moral is ironic, and the artists involved most likely knew it. Grigory Kozlov had been with Soyuzmultfilm since from its 1936 opening as animator, and began directing in 1960.

Plot summary: Cartoon Research