Sunday, 15 June 2008

Rozalia Zelma (4) "Open Window"

Open Window is the fourth in a five part series on Rozalia Zelma. It also happens to be my favourite. Clara is a rather talkative crow, though in part I might be persuaded she is a magpie. Whatever, she talks a lot thanks to a previous relationship with an animal trainer friend who has seemingly abandoned her to her own devices. She amuses herself by tapping on the watch of a beach sunbather and asking the time, popping her head through the newspaper of the fruit-eater who is oblivious of her charms or stealing a hat and necklace from the girl in the milliners. What she needs is a companion and she discovers one in the artist whose window is open and inviting. He draws her portrait allowing Clara a moment of critical commentary -"Crap!" is her withering verdict. More work and she is won over ("Pret-ty"), allowing one of the most wonderful moments in a wonderful movie as the drawing comes alive and the bird turns to various crow/woman poses in a nicely animated sequence. Artists need to travel however and it seems this beautiful friendship is to wither like her relationship with her animal trainer. The bird's character is warmly and comically realised, all the more so given a realistic rendering of her artist friend. The changing perspectives as the bird is sketched are clever. Indeed, from the sweeping vistas of the crowded beach or train station to the more focused antics of the bird, the movie's immense charm and humour never palls and this time we get a happy ending! The sheer quality of the animating and drawing is a joy, as indeed is the tuneful soundtrack and contrasting cacophony of Clara's speech. I am indebted here to YouTuber houzdog03, one of those heroes whose translations make accessible to such as me these Russian classics.


geckohale said...

This was lovely, endearing, heart rending. Thank you for reviewing it.

Ian Lumsden said...

Glad you liked it. Triggered by your appreciaition, I realised there was more I could write and today covered another of this great director's films, with a further one to come.