A few weeks ago I started to read a classic: The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Sponsored by my brother’s girlfriend, who sent me one edition of the book as a sign of pure kindness, I sailed with the old fisher man who’s obsessed with catching a big fish. I got caught inmediatly by this story witten brightly by Hemingway, who seems to put the right words to tell us with simplicity about a gloomy life aimed by the dream of catching something (a fish, a fortune, the fame, the pride) already had but now lost. There’s no wasted word in the novel, in my opinion.
Afterwards, checking some of the winners of the Academy Awards I found out there was one based on this novel. I inmediatly tried to find the way to watch it. That was not complicated at all.
The film was made by the russian animation director Aleksander Petrov, with a very particular technique: paint-on-glass animation. It consist in painting with oil on glass that works as canvas, which are after photographed as the sheets in the traditional animation films. The paint is slow-drying, so the director is able to change the painting in the act with paintbrushes or even with his own fingerprints. This almost-20-minutes-long film took two years and more than 29,000 sheets to be accomplished.
Besides the technique, I think the film is pretty good, even counting with the normal limitation of expressing in images something that was thought as a book. Sometimes it’s slow (and I think it’s because of the way it was made), but the colours and the illustrations make justice to the most memorable images and feelings in the book. I think Petrov caught the spirit of the novel and pictured it right.
Enjoy the short and read the book if you haven’t yet!