Posted by easternxpress on September 3, 2009
Selection of romanian animations by Ion Popescu-Gopo
Screening at EasternXpress festival 2009
in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute.
Ion Popescu-Gopo (May 1, 1923 – November 28, 1989) was a Romanian graphic artist and animator, but also writer, movie director and actor born in Bucharest, Romania. He was a prominent personality in the Romanian cinematography and the founder of the modern Romanian cartoon school. He was, together with Liviu Ciulei and Mirel Ilieşiu one of the few Romanian film artists who won an award at Cannes in the 20th century. His film “Scurtă Istorie” (A Brief History) won the Short Film Palme d’Or for best short film in 1957.
Ion Popescu-Gopo has been attending (but never graduated) the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest and animation courses in Moscow.
His career started as a designer and cartoonist in 1939, publishing caricatures and editorial cartoons in newspapers. 1949 brought his debut in the film industry with “Punguţa cu doi bani” (Bag with two coins). Since 1950 he started working for Studioul Cinematografic Bucureşti (Cinematographic Studio Bucharest) in the animation department, that later broke into a separate animation studio, Animafilm.
His most known cartoon character is a little black and white man sometimes referred to as “Gopo’s Little Man” after his creator. Later in his life Popescu-Gopo confessed that he tried to start an “anti-Disney rebellion”. Unable to surpass Disney‘s animation characters in color and beauty, Popescu-Gopo tried to be more profound in message and substance and simplify the form and techniques used. Unlike Disney‘s cartoon characters, Popescu-Gopo’s cartoon characters were black and white, designed in simple lines.