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also known as Fétiche

Devil's Ball1934

  • 4.2
This excerpt from Ladislas Starevitch's complete twenty-six minute FETICHE (aka THE MASCOT), released in its truncated form as a stand-alone short in the U.S., is a stop-motion delight. Its Hieronymus Bosch-like vision of Hades finds the eternal underworld in a partying mood. Animated vegetables, a hellacious dance band, a snippy beauty who refuses a cocktail from a monster and a classically louche jeune homme (slouching against a post with cigarette dangling from his insolent mouth) are among those making the scene. This being Satan's territory, excess revelry can result in violent premature deaths even for the already-dead. Starewicz was a Moscow native of Polish descent who relocated to Paris after the Russian Revolution, eventually creating one of the first animated features in 1937, LE ROMAN DE RENARD (THE TALE OF THE FOX), which was released the same year as Walt Disney's more famous SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. - Dennis Harvey

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3 members like this review

Pay close attention to the tiniest detail in this piece. 100s of man hours were painstakingly spent on even the shortest of these films. Magnificent piece of art, here. Some of these clips can be seen in early MTV videos such as David Bowie/Queen "Under Pressure".

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Member Reviews (12)

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top reviewer

Pay close attention to the tiniest detail in this piece. 100s of man hours were painstakingly spent on even the shortest of these films. Magnificent piece of art, here. Some of these clips can be seen in early MTV videos such as David Bowie/Queen "Under Pressure".

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Stop-Motion animation is an amazing, painstaking, old-school craft, and this brief excerpt demonstrates a remarkable fluid execution of that craft. It's also wildly imaginative; a bawdy burlesque of Disney's "Night On Bald Mountain" sequence from the legendary "Fantasia," made a few years later. You can see its influence on a later generation of filmmakers, like Tim Burton. A riotous, rowdy, Danse Macabre!

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

I'm not usually a fan of documentaries, but this won me over with its daring subject matter and its eye for character.

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top reviewer

cluttered but fun.

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top reviewer

about what I expected, like a pre-Svankmajer animation.

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top reviewer

Stop-motion animation was one of the first applications of film-making.

So cool.

Amazing.

A great one for a short escape. Very absurd.

Fun little short. The level of detail in every shot is impressive.

Dirtbag Devil!

Interesting