Thursday, 18 February 2010

Elizaveta Skvortsova "Wait, Be So Kind" (2002)

This is the first of three posts concerning the Russian director, Elizaveta Skvortsova. I'll commence with her thesis film of 2002, Wait, Be So Kind. The story is an age old one of a struggle with Death, personified here as a young woman whose dark presence is somewhat challenged by a lively girl cast down to Death's kingdom. The girl has been dispatched by her father, the king, angry at a defeat in battle and by the sight of his daughter embracing her lover. The spirited girl proceeds to argue with Death in order that she return to life if only for a minute. "Do you want me to tell you how beautiful it is to be alive?" Death relents - for one night only. Elizaveta frames the narrative as a slide projection show, as a girl (looking exactly like Death) presents a late night story, a scary one, using old fashioned equipment, complete with mechanical whirring sound. The music is at once melodic and repetitive, a wistful carousel ride, whilst the cut-out style has a simplicity about it that is both appealing and apt, particularly as emblems of life, in all their colour, are wheeled on towards the close. Viewed from the perspective of a child, one fleshes the details out oneself. Death is a lonely figure, strangely discomforted in the presence of Life. Elizaveta attended the State Institute of Filmmaking (VGIK). She was 24 when she made this most beautifully designed short. And yes, life is beautiful.


Pavlovich said...

"Rain" an older short film of her's (1998) is also on You Tube.

She has made some wonderful shorts. Some of the best are her "Lullaby" series, lullabies from around the world.
All her "Lullady" shorts are on You Tube as well.

This You tube user has uploaded many...

Ian Lumsden said...

Hi Pavlovich,
You could be forming my agenda. In fact I am intending to look at a selection of her lullabies - I've yet to decide on the precise ones - and will follow with "Rain" posted by yourself, for which as always I am truly grateful. Probably Tuesday for the first post. In fact I'm so inundated with emails at the moment I'm a bit lost, particularly as I'm writing this durng a short winter break walking the coast.