Sunday, March 29, 2020

Vladimir Tarassov - Вперед, время! / Onwards, Time! (1977)

with English subtitles, in two parts

"From the 1970s until 1980s... Tarasov made many films that talked about space through humanity, asking such questions as what it is to be human and how to find a common language between people. The quote “Wake up, cosmonaut!” from his film “The Return” has seen wide use in many different forms. His other film, “Contact”, was so popular in fact that it’s music – Nino Rota’s “Godfather” melody – was used during disco nights in Leningrad in the 1980s: if a young man wanted to court a girl, he whistled that tune, and if she whistled it back, it meant yes.

“Contact” is still Tarasov’s calling card – the “yellow submarine”-esque psychedelic film about a humorous meeting with an extraterrestrial civilisation won many awards in 1979, including one during the XVIII festival of science fiction films in Trieste.

"Tarasov called science fiction his breath of fresh air, thanks to which he has been able to work more freely and boldly than in other genres, and he has called animation the esperanto of humanity. He has also highlighted Estonian animation, such as the works of Rein Raamat and Priit Pärn.

"According to Estonian sci-fi expert Jüri Kallas, Tarasov was one of the most prolific science fiction authors in soviet animation. “To this day his films “Contact” and “The Pass” are broadcast by the biggest Russian TV channels around twice a year. These days Tarasov mainly works as a professor in Russia, but also in Iran and India; in the latter country you could call him the founder of the local animation scene...'” 


  1. "Onwards, Time!" I think is a better translation of the original Russian. Beautiful homage to the genius of Mayakovsky. Soviet Russia's tradition of cool animated movies dates back to 1924's "Interplanetary Revolution," which is a bit hard to follow at times but a striking visual artifact of post-1917 revolutionary fervor: (Asif here)