Friday, 31 August 2007

Vladimir Leschiov "Insomnia"

Vladimir Leschiov's "Insomnia" is an elegantly drawn animation recreating that awful zone we all experience at one time or another when sleep utterly eludes us. Here the restless would-be sleeper is disturbed by a feline visitor who demands that his dark circled owner feed her milk. Now whether or not the cat is an actual cat or insomnia personified is best left to the viewer's discretion. And this is the beauty of "Insomnia" because reality and dream are intermingled. The restless wanderer of the night peers out of the window at the huge moon before clambering to the front step to pick up the bucket to collect the milk to milk the cow to feed the cat. All this and a sleepy electronic soundtrack and often surreal images of night. There are some lovely sequences in which the dreamer or insomniac scales the buildings using a pick-axe, or the languid cat stretches out on the windowsill. And stangest of all is the Scotsman in his kilt clutching a pipe. As I said, it is elegantly drawn in pencil with usually greys but the merest hints of the subdued colours of the night. A warm, classy piece of work and a welcome introduction to this highly talented artist and animator. The animation seems to have won a clutch of awards since its first screening in 2004. YouTube has the video and a plea to purchase this and other work on DVD. There is an excellent and very candid biography in Vladimir's introduction to his newly opened Lunohod Animation Studio in Sweden which has short excerpts from his other work, all of which have that distinctive, stylish air about them. You can purchase full copies of the films from Vladimir via his website. Remember, YouTube is often but a pale shadow of the actual works reviewed here.


Caine said...

Well, you at least got me curious about the book. Does it have anything about insomnia treatment somewhere in its pages?

Robert Thorne said...

It may only be a book, but it perfectly highlights one of the more common and annoying problems people can have. After all, how can someone enjoy and relax in a comfortable bed with upholstered bedheads, if they can't even get to sleep?