578. Hercules Visits Admeta – Anatoliy Petrov

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SUMMARY: Admetus, doomed to die young, is given a chance to be saved from his fate if someone will willingly die in his place. When his wife, Alcestis, volunteers to do so, Hercules descends into Hades to rescue her.

WHY IT’S HERE: Russian director Anatoliy Petrov made a film that was visually years ahead of its time with ‘Firing Range’, a 1977 short that looks like it was made using modern day CGI. In fact, he used a self-developed technique known as Photographica which uses multiple celluloid layers to give a realistic three dimensional look. Petrov continued to use this unique style and in 1986 he released ‘Hercules Visits Admeta’, a masterpiece of animation that was four years in the making and remains mystifyingly obscure. Even today, there are few animations that can rival the beauty of this amazing retelling of a Greek myth. Throughout its twenty minute runtime, Petrov keeps us riveted with rolling landscapes, ferocious battles and deeply emotive characters. Animation has come a long way since 1986 but Petrov’s work still looks better than most films released in recent times. While the classical storytelling might not be to everyone’s taste, few could deny that ‘Hercules Visits Admeta’ is a visual masterpiece and worthy of being a renowned classic rather than a buried treasure.

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