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Friday, 15 August 2008

Ivan Maximov "The Spate"











The best animation is able to transport one to an alternate world and Ivan Maximov is a creator of alternate worlds. The Spate is typical of his films, set in a somewhere universe on a sandy wilderness by a railway line in which a red headed girl and her puppy watch the world go by. It is a peculiar, sleepy world peopled by idiosyncratic characters. I spotted a sleeping pig, armadillo and two slumberous travellers outside the girl's house. But foremost in the girl's mind at least is the fellow with the plant pot and solitary plant. She sees that the plant appears parched under the sun, as does the man. Cue for girl to clamber out of window with life saving bucket of water, that is not needed due to a raincloud being punctured by a kite, which triggers a deluge that is very satisfying to the man, plant and especially the plant pot itself which positively flourishes. Four minutes or so of this artfully drawn and animated movie pass accompanied by the playful music of Pavel Karmanov, with a violin solo by Vladislav Pesin. The ending of the film is a particular treat. The plant pot has fallen off the train and just watch the girl's colour develop as she is handed her flower. Moscow based, Ivan made the short in 2004. He explains the movie on his website as a phobia about leaving the tap running in the bath (I omitted to mention the overflowing bath - but then there's so much else happening elsewhere) and unexpected first love. I did get that bit and it really is so romantic. From Russia with love and one of my favourite films of the summer - at least.

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