Piotr Dumala’s animated “Crime and Punishment”

Posted filed underAnimation, Poland, Videos.

Piotr Dumala 's animated "Crime and Punishment"
Piotr Dumała is a Polish film director and animator. His animation technique is original and fascinating, among the most interesting of the last 30 years. While training to be a sculptor, he discovered that scratching images into painted plaster could be a beautiful way to create animations. This is only one technique of a method called destructive animation, where one image is erased (in this case, painted over) and re-drawn to create the next frame in the sequence. William Kentridge is another artist who works in this destructive way. Dumala’s main themes, and the way to show them, recall ostensibly the world of writer Franz Kafka. His film Crime and Punishment was included in the Animation Show of Shows.

Piotr Dumala – Zbrodnia i Kara / Crime and Punishment

“Polish animator Piotr Dumala, already well known for existential films Kafka and The Gentle One (based on a Dostoevsky short story) tried his hand, literally, at Dostoevsky’s novel. While it’s not the first animation attempt at Crime and Punishment (in 1999, student Zack Margolis made a short but inspiring take on it called A Trip to the Building), it is by far the most ambitious,” writes The Animation World Magazine. “The cinematic temptation is obvious. For all its multi-layered philosophical, social and economic critiques of Russian society and humanity in general, Crime and Punishment contains all the tension and suspense of a Hitchcock film.”
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“Dumala it seems also picked up the Hitchcock theme. Crime and Punishment opens with a marvellous Saul Bass inspired credit sequence. Thumping, repetitive piano notes accompany the reddish brown visuals that appear in and out of shadows. In between, we see what is almost an overture of images (including the murder) revealing in an almost Brechtian style what exactly we can expect to see in this film. The fusion of red and brown throughout the film captures the violence and griminess of this sick world, while the elliptical, paranoid, dimly lit images perfectly capture the increasingly blurred line of dream and reality in Raskolnikov’s disturbed mind. As with the novel, the crime is very much an afterthought. What interests Dumala is less the crime and more the emotional and mental state of this troubled soul before and after the murder. This is not Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and nor should it be. Adaptations, like essays, should attempt to be personal re-creations of the feelings inspired by the adapted work. ”
Read on at The Animation World Magazine.

- More at the Animation Network: A Conversation With Piotr Dumala and Jerzy Kucia
- More videos by Piotr Dumala