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Tin House Reels: Valeriy Kozhin

This week, Tin House Reels is pleased to share The Gardener’s Dream by director and animator Valeriy Kozhin. Kozhin’s film transforms Lewis Carroll’s poem The Mad Gardener’s Song” into a surrealist adventure that maintains the spirit of the poet’s work and incorporates a wildness that is all Kozhin’s.

The film conveys an abstracted conceit of a logic game. Using paper cut-outs and puppets, porcelain dolls, and minuscule objects, Kozhin draws on images of childhood. Using a color palate rich in natural pigments, his work also feels like more classic animation–a mixture of Marc Davis era Disney and Jan Svankmajer, one of Valeriy’s favorite filmmakers.

“I see a new world with my eyes when I am inside a film,” Kozhin said. “I think that cinema is a young art. We have the great opportunity to make more than we can imagine in animation.”

That imagination, which seems to be equally enamored with the romantic and grotesque, has created an alluring lullaby for those boys and girls who still read under the covers after the lights have been turned off.

The film was made in two versions–one in Russian and one in English–with financial support from the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture.

Moscow-born Valeriy Kozhin grew up wanting to be a cartoonist. After graduating from the Moscow Academic Art Lyceum, he joined the VGIK Film Institute in the artistic animation department. He currently lives and works in Moscow.

Alison Pezanoski-Browne is an editorial intern at Tin House.

Tin House Reels is a weekly feature on The Open Bar dedicated to the craft of short filmmaking. Curated by Ilana Simons, the series features videos by artists who are forming interesting new relationships between images and words.

We are now accepting submissions for Tin House Reels. Please upload your videos of 15 minutes or less to Youtube or Vimeo and send a link of your work to tinhousereels@gmail.com. You may also send us a file directly.

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Posted in Poetry, Tin House Reels, Videos

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  1. [...] Gardener’s Dream, a terrific poetry film by the Moscow-based animator Valeriy Kozhin. It was recently featured in a post by Alison Pezanoski-Browne at Tin House Reels. As Pezanoski-Browne writes, Kozhin’s [...]

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