The Glass Harmonica

Andrei Khrzhanovsky (1968)

A musician playing a glass harmonica comes to a town governed by bureaucracy and corruption. Can the melodies he plays defeat the powers governing this seemingly indifferent group of people?

Andrei Khrzhanovsky is a Russian animator, documentary filmmaker, writer, and producer. He is the father of director Ilya Khrzhanovsky. Married to philologist, editor, and script doctor Maria Neyman. People’s Artist of Russia, 2011.

He rose to prominence in the west with his 2009 picture A Room and a Half starring Grigory Dityatkovsky, Sergei Yursky, Alisa Freindlich about Joseph Brodsky. Although Khrzhanovsky’s 1966 dark comedy There Lived Kozyavin was clearly a comment on the dangerous absurdity of a regimented communist bureaucracy it was approved by the state owned Soyuzmultfilm studio. However The Glass Harmonica in 1968 continuing a theme of heartless bureaucrats confronted by the liberating power of music and art was the first animated film to be officially banned in the Soviet Union.

Learn more about the interesting history of The Glass Harmonica here at:

1 Comment

  1. I was going to say the “hellish” scenes reminded me of Bosch, and then the article explains: “drawn from the paintings of De Chirico, Magritte, Grosz, Bruegel, and Bosch”….
    Because I was also going to ask about that–the portrait-like drawings that frequent the story that remind you of certain old-time artists. It almost looks like he superimposed real artworks into the animation, but I guess Andrei *drew* them in the likeness of that particular look and feel.
    Beautiful and deeply disturbing.

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