Watch Piotr Dumala’s Wonderful Animations of Literary Works by Kafka and Dostoevsky

There’s a certain irony to Polish animator Piotr Dumala’s innovative style, a stop-motion technique in which he scratches an image into painted plaster, then paints it over again immediately and scratches the next. Called “destructive animation,” Dumala devised the method while studying art conservation at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

Trained as a sculptor as well as an animator, Dumala’s award-winning films present strikingly expressionistic textures emerging from pitch black and receding again. The 1991 film Kafka (top) begins with the reclusive writer shrouded in darkness and isolation. He coughs once, and we are transported to Prague, 1883. Each frame of Kafka resembles a woodcut, and the sound design is as spare as the extremely high-contrast animation.

More here. [Thanks to Jim Culleny.]