My first encounter with Regina Spektor was when I saw Narnia 2 which featured the farewell scene in the end with  The Call playing in the background as the Pevensies make their way home. I looked her up as soon as I could reap the benefits of limitless bandwidth and fell in love with her music. Spektor’s music videos are usually quirky and often a little theatrical, in the academical sense of the word. They often have a child-like storybook quality. Another thing I love is the frequent use of stop-motion animation. 

Regina was born in the former Soviet Union  to Jewish parents and had to leave her piano behind when the family emigrated to the States in 1989 during the period of  Perestroika. They left Russia despite Regina’s promising musical career due to discrimination against Jews in Russia at the time. Her father, a photographer and amateur violinist arranged for her to continue practicing on a piano in the basement of  the synagogue after their arrival in New York.

The music video for Samson was directed by animator and fellow New Yorker Peter Sluszka, who also animated the music video for Us, which was directed by Adria Petty.  Sluszka majored in literature and visual arts and finally found a way to combine his two loves in stop motion animation. This quality makes him a good fit for Samson, which in itself represents an untold story. Sluszka makes use of cut paper animation which echoes the line  “Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth”.

Spektor seems to have a habit of working with the same people. Adria Petty, daughter of musician Tom Petty, has directed a number of Spektor’s music videos, including Eet, Laughing With and Dance Anthem of the 80’s all from Spektor’s Far album. Petty is known for her documentary Paris, not France on the infamous heirress Paris Hilton. Us was feature in the opening credits of 500 Days of Summer.

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