Friday, February 13, 2009

Black and White 1932

Think about it. Americans are divided into two parties. Either they are beyond-reason-rich capitalists, or they are used working class men, working for slave wages like the poor negros.

Chernoe i beloe (Black and White)
Animator: Ivan Ivanov-Vano and Leonid Amalrik
Soviet Union, Russia 1932
3 min

After a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Mayakovsky is often called the loudspeaker of the Bolshevik Revolution. Yet he was also a most talented poet, whose works are widely quoted even today. As a graphic artist, he was one of the founders of the Okna Rosta (Rosta Windows) a massive media publicity blitz which used posters to spread word of the Revolution via the Russian telegraphic agency.

The animation in “Black and White” is based on his drawings.

In 1922, Mayakovsky received special permission to travel to America. En route he stopped in Cuba where Americans controlled the sugar and tobacco industries. “Black and White” tells the story of Willie, the shoe shine boy, who makes the fatal mistake of asking the White Sugar King Mister Bragg, “Why should white sugar be made by a black man?”

Audio commentaries from Animated Soviet Propaganda DVD-box

Bring out the whip, I say.


C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Fascinating. I've watched the film three times already and am about to watch it three more...I'm guessing Paul Robeson is singing; appropriate, given his political leanings.

It's always interesting to see how other countries view one's own, even if that view is skewered by another motive. I doubt the USSR would have shone so bright a light on their own "shortcomings."

Anyway, great stuff and I'm enjoying your blog! It's among the most intersting and entertaining I've seen.

Lolita said...

C.K. Dexter Haven:
I really wouldn't know who's singing, but I guess you may be right!

Yes, it is always facinating. But for us in Sweden the picture of us is mostly entertaining. Like Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Place (1983). Blonde, curvy maiden who wants everyone to eat meat balls. Or "Inga from Sweden!" in Cry-Baby. Yeah, everyone here is called Inga! And we're all blondes with an enormous sexual appetite.

Thank you ever so much for your kind words! It means a lot, since my blog is new and English is my second language. Thank you again!

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Hey, how 'bout doing another post of this? Either that or I'll have to spring for my own copy but I just bought the Jermey Brett Sherlock Holmes box set for $100.00---I'm broke!