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Alexander Alexeieff: The Pin Board Technique

Year: 1966, 27 mins
Code: CAT-Pin

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Painter-draftsman-filmmaker-printmaker Alexander Alexeieff and his wife and co-worker Claire Parker discuss the use of his "pin-board" technique for illustration and film animation. With excerpts from their films, a demonstration of the pin-board, and film made on location in Paris about the reception of their art.

Alexeieff invented this technique in 1931; images are made by precise shadows. Hundreds of pins protude through a board, the pins extended so as to produce in raking light a shadow picture which is then filmed to make one frame of graphic or motion picture. As the shadow is changed the scene is changed. Alexeieff has used this technique to make book illustrations and films. This documentary includes pictures for an edition of "Dr. Zhivago" and an animated film based on a Gogol short story called "The Nose", a macabre fantasy about a man searching for his missing nose; the film took18 months to complete, using 1600 pin-board images.

Alexandre Alexandrovitch Alexeieff was a Russian Empire-born artist, filmmaker and illustrator who lived and worked mainly in Paris. He and his second wife Claire Parker are credited with inventing the pinscreen as well as the animation technique totalization.

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