la piccola russia

18 11 2009

LA PICCOLA RUSSIA is an animated short by italian master-painter/animator/filmaker GIANLUIGI TOCCAFONDO. you should see this film, in case you can get a hold of it somewhere, it took me a while. the 17 min film is like ‘modern art comes alive’. that’s why I had to look at it single-frame wise, because I did not want to miss one of all the incredible paintings that create the animation. it is a MASTERPIECE. you can feel the influence of the whole modern artworld of the past 60 years, and it looks like toccafondo wants to pay homage to PICASSO, HOCKNEY, RAUSCHENBERG, WARHOL, OLDENBURG and others, as well as to animation legends like JOHN HUBLEY ( tender game ), CAROLINE LEAF ( the street ), NEDELJKO DRAGIC ( diary ) and ZDENKO GASPAROVICH ( satiemania ). toccafondo uses a very interesting combination of different techniques like photography ( the single frame blow-ups of live action ), collage, painting and xerography.

TOCCAFONDO was born 1965 in san marino and got his education at the ISA of urbino, italy, the first school in italy with the freedom to study traditional animation techniques. toccafondo used his talent of graphics, animation and filmmaking first in milan in advertising. in 1989 he had his debut in the animation world with his short LA CODA. following were LA PISTA, LE CRIMINEL, PINOCCHIO and in 2003 – LA PICCOLA RUSSIA. the story is about a young boy growing up to become a murderer. ‘little russia’, the title of the film, was apparently the nickname of a part in northern italy, where the communist party had a strong support. he worked on the film for three years and started to create his own sound. the film received numerous awards worldwide.

© toccafondo



4 responses

18 11 2009

amazing art!!!!!compositions are great. thank you for sharing!!

19 11 2009
Michael Sporn

This man is a true artist. I wish I could get my hands on some of his films – other than through sad YouTube versions

27 11 2009
Steve Brown

I love this film! I have been waiting for years for the opportunity to see it again. I agree with Michael about the sad youtube versions. I so wish someone would issue a dvd of his films (maybe Ron Diamond?)

21 10 2012

Toccafondo is quite possibly my favorite animator. He and Chris Hinton. I’d not heard of him until I was at an Ottawa Animation Festival some years ago (2004?) and managed to watch La Piccola Russia twice. I was bowled over. What a perfect movie. The exquisite art, the dream-like story, the direction and the music are all as good as it gets. Toccafondo doesn’t speak English, but with the use of an online translator, I was able to write to him. We’ve corresponded a couple of times and when I asked if I could buy a DVD of Russia, he sent me a personal DVD burn. Michael, I believe I sent you a copy of that. Steve, get in touch with me via my website ( and perhaps I can burn and send you a copy. Gianluigi said it was okay with him if I shared, although I haven’t made it public because I’m not up for burning lots of copies. Too busy, too lazy. -ES

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