Thursday, 5 June 2008

Rozalia Zelma "The Dreamer"

Rozalia Zelma is one of the great Russian animators. Google her name however and remarkably little information is available, in English at least. Yet her work stands comparison with many far better known directors, both in quality and for a lifetime's output. The featured movie, The Dreamer, is a beautifully drawn piece about a boy's innocent dreams of the young girl seated next to him in class. Whether she be garlanded in flowers, taken through an historical transformation of costume and hairstyle, or accompanying the dreamer on his adventures as he designs a safe airplane or ice-breaking ship, the girl (and us) is transported far away from the classroom. There is a beauty and quality about the work that elevates a simple theme. When the flower bell of the dreamland is morphed to the bell of the school and class recommences a magical spell is broken. This is the first of a number of Rozalia's works, readily accessible to a non-Russian speaking audience, I intend to feature along with some sparse biographical detail as I have been able to garner. Luckily, through the zeal of YouTubers, some of the work is available for an international audience, though sadly one often deterred by the Russian alphabet that I admit can be daunting for this particular Westerner. I will also link to available DVDs of her work.

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