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Keep it in Motion - Classic Animation Revisited: '78 Tours'

Revisiting Georges Schwizgebel's classic, 78 Tours (1985)

'78 Tours' by Georges Schwizgebel

This early film by Swiss animation, Georges Schwizgebel (who, fittingly – given the sweeping beauty and warmth of his work, is being fêted by Animafest Cyprus this July is an apt display of how conceptually potent and multilayered short animation can be in the hands of a master. Films like 78 Tours (1985) are among the reasons I was swayed by animation in the first place. Like a piece of music or poetry, animation, in the right hands, can overpower you with ideas and emotions in just a few minutes.

In 78 Tours (a reference to old 78 rpm records), an accordion plays as Schwizgebel waltzes us through a summer day using an ingenious (and beautifully painted) series of shifting perspectives and objects that at once celebrates life and the warmth and beauty of both music and the season while meditating on the many times that take place within a single time as a man sitting in his flat enjoying a coffee as the radio plays is seemingly led through flickering memory fragments of childhood, love, amusement parks and summer nights now gone by the nostalgic push of the music.

So much life (re)lived during the brief breath of an old song.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.