Saturday, 26 September 2009

Zoya Kireeva "Foolish Girl" (2006)

The plot for an animation need not be of ground breaking significance to make an impact. Zoya Kireeva's delicately drawn piece Foolish Girl has the young heroine of the tale disrupting proceedings with a series of anti-social activities designed to mask her loneliness and attract a young fellow she has her eyes on. Her wooing of him commences with the playground swing where she launches into a series of bewildering and gravity defying gyrations. The need to draw attention to herself gets her into more trouble at lunch. Then there's the trick with the mouse. If the little lad had only reciprocated some love! The colours are as delicate as raindrops and the animation expertly achieved as Zova captures the very essence of childhood, not only in the movement but also the astutely observed behaviour and a gently understated humour. In a world where we do not actually see the adults' faces, children behave like real children, in their own world, watching as the girl is chastised, hoisting up their dresses, bouncing on the potty. There is one delightful scene as the girls are preening themselves and each other, when a girl enters, struggling to get arms and head into the correct holes in her dress. The moment it pops into place we cut to the solitary girl looking downcast, only for a globule of saliva to plop from her mouth into the palette of paint she has ready for her next trick. Foolish Girl possesses an elegance of technique and natural story-telling that I find most appealing. And haven't we all attempted some lousy courtship?

1 comment:

Ian Lumsden said...

Immediately after posting this I discovered a further link to the movie on YouTube with following commentary from no less a dignatory than Yuriy Norshteyn:
"I must say that for me this film was a phenomenon. This film, it is called Foolish Girl. The title itself is great. It was made by Zoya Kireyeva. She is a cinematographer at Sverdlovsk studio. Everyone at Sverdlovsk knows her. [...] She has a very good eye, and good taste. And I think, she sees the world very clearly. And I think that this film was possibly inspired by her own childhood. The film is about child love. I have not seen anything similar in animation. And even in cinema it is very difficult to find...
You see, there's a girl there who's trying to attract the attention of a boy. But she's still she's a girl, she doesn't know how. She makes faces in front of him, she turns over a bowl of soup in front of him, she simply behaves disreputably to attract attention to herself. But it attracts the attention of the educator, who begins to scold her, and tell her that she's behaving badly... she shows the boy a mouse, standing there covered in makeup (she must have seen it in magazines). This is all done superbly..."