Two Cineasts’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film reviews in 22 sentences (or less)
„The cutest short film for the winter season, or in fact for all seasons.“
(The Two Cineasts)
Hi everybody, with much resemblance to another master of his art, animator Alexandr Petrov, Yuri Norstein, again co-directing this time with another Russian animation maestro, Ivan Ivanov-Vano, focuses on the environment, on the beautiful Russian nature and its change.
It's a stunning celebration of the seasons with everything that goes with it: the warmth of the summer, the rich colors of the falling leaves in autumn, the sea of white, cold and vast yet magical in winter, and finally the flourishing colors of a newly beginning cycle of life. In a dreamlike state the nature moves on - unforgiving or just naturalistic - and a nostalgic feeling gives way to a charming one. Every frame a work of art - delicate and beautifully animated landscapes with a variety of liveness, colors plus detail especially in the background. Even though wordless, or because of it, Seasons tells a story with so much emotion it enchanted me right away.
The use of real water and light sources creates a certain realness in this fantasy tale. Because of this and our two protagonists and their horses reminded me of the famous German marionette theater "Augsburger Puppenkiste" (Augsburg Puppetchest) and I felt a connection with this taciturn pair. The seasons shift and we simply follow their lead, wordless yet with a story to tell, a story about a growing friendship while the year draws slowly to a close and begins once again. The couple's psychology is perfectly captured above all through the classic music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Yuri Norstein's second short film was made for Tchaikovsky's soft and nuanced work ”The Seasons“ and audio-visually it hits all the right tones.