Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Elinor Geller "The Spirit Child" (2006)

Graduation films appear like stardust from the many universities across the world. I have time for only a few. But lest I forget, here's one from way back in 2006. The Spirit Child is the work of Elinor Geller who obtained a well earned first class degree from Southampton Solent University. Based on the loss of her sister's six month old baby, Elinor wrote a rhymed poem in one evening and from this her special tribute was born. The seven minute film is the story of young Orli, seemingly content in a dark cemetery, "eternally young, forever beguiled". When an angel appears her world is transformed by light, colour and friends. Franklin Ojeda Smith narrates the piece, his rich voice a gem, and her brother, Avi Geller, wrote and produced the music. It has received much critical acclaim but not, until now, from me. I have waited years to quote the great man but Mark Kermode said this: "Enchanting, evocative animation melts with a poetic voice-over and an accomplished score. The film deals with the difficult subject of death in a manner which is universal and uplifting. Tim Burton would love this!"  The use of a seemingly effortless, sketch book style in 2D fits her subject perfectly. Elinor's lightness of touch is sustained throughout. Her wide eyed child has made a number of people wet eyed. It is that sort of heart-warming film possessing of an innocence and sweetness that does not cloy.

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