Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Jacques Colombat "The Little Story" (1967)

Based on a story of the same name written by Ambrose Bierce in 1874, The Little Story was made in 1967 by Jacques Colombat, a French director I do not know. It is a more savage version of The Little Match Girl, though in this case set by the writer in the city of San Francisco. Like that itinerant seller, the bare foot heroine of this little satire is an orphan out on the streets in the snow, poorly clad and yearning after the food and warm hospitality enjoyed by the good people of the town. Straining to see the heaped confectionery in the shop windows, she has the temerity to imagine that she too is sampling their delights. Tarts are conjured up, a full Christmas meal. Why, she evens envisages herself at the centre of the party, by a hot stove, surrounded by her family. As dawn breaks, as manna from heaven, delights cascade on the town and the citizens are able to gorge on the riches strewn around. Somewhere under that deluge lies a young girl flattened by the goodness of it all. A kind family bear her up and place the thin thing in a position at the heart of their festivities. Beautifully drawn with an evocative sense of period, unexpectedly laced by black humour, the five minute short is an unexpected find and I am grateful for the YouTuber, whose "obscure animations" provide such a treasure trove.

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