Saturday, 14 November 2009

Yevgeniy Sivokon "Laziness" (1979)

A rather loose reference to the word "satire" in relation to Monday's Russian movie gained gentle admonition from the admirable Niffiwan who recommended Yevgeniy Sivokon's 1979 cut out Laziness as a more genuine example. He was indisputably right but I was unprepared for the fascination of it all. A snail slides across the dirty glass of an aquarium in which resides a bespectacled fish, tiny reading glasses perched on his nose, blowing bubbles. Then the opening credits and we are introduced to the narrator, an obese man eternally eating lunch whose lugubrious voice explains he is too lazy to clean the glass, or feed the fish, or separate the killer fish from the rest, or save the cat: a litany of excuses and an indolence that plays havoc with the normal pet/owner relationship. Suffice it to say the man ends up in the water providing a salutary lesson in the dangers of sloth. Laziness exemplifies satire well. Taken on a political or personal level, the point is well made. "My brain has become the brain of a fish. It's in no state to think of anything...but why disturb the waters." Lovely chunky cut outs too. And the film is so funny as fish, having gobbled up its fellows, eyes the cat. Faineant diner eyes the action. "Poor Vasya. My only friend. I ought to help him." Well, yes. Thanks Niffiwan and I'm going to tidy out the garage tomorrow. Or soon.

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