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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Natalia Mirzoyan "My Childhood Mystery Tree" (2009)

My Childhood Mystery Tree is not only rather beautifully done, it is an intriguing film made by a debut director, Natalia Mirzoyan, who also provides the script, art and animation. The screenshot reveals the quality of the art and it is heart warming that the skills displayed by those soviet animators of old are present in 29 year old Natalia's work. Initially there is much of a Louis Carroll or CS Lewis in the opening scenes of the 10 minute short. A young boy loses his teddy bear discovering him at various locations in a series of alternative realities that seem to exist in the hollows and branches of a huge tree, to which the boy returns after each adventure. But there is a darker side in the seizure of children's toys by flying eagles in a world overseen by an omnipotent Bird. Like scenes in a nightmare, reality is a pliable substance. My favourite world is that of a seemingly happy childhood scene where the children are at play suddenly to be frozen, revealed as one dimensional figures, toppled over by a storm. Unwisely attempting an explanation .... if one takes the great tree as a symbol of childhood, woven together from all the stolen toys, and the Bird as motherhood, then the loss of the teddy bear is that of innocence with the onset of the adult world. Interestingly, the boy is no mere passive creature, having a hand in the destruction of his own childhood. Excellent music from Marina Landa and Sergey Vasilyev greatly add to the mystery of it all. That and some sumptuous use of paintbrush in the 2D piece. It was produced by Studio of Computer Graphics and Animation in St Petersburg. Natalie is a graduate of both Yerevan State University and Saint Petersburg Institute of Decorative-Applied Arts. She has a new film, Chinti, out in time for Annecy. Natalia elbowed out the promised love story that is tomorrow's fare. I can already hear the howls of protest....but we'll leave them for tomorrow.

2 comments:

Dyermaker said...

Such a masterpiece. One of the best short movies I've seen in the last years.

Ian Lumsden said...

My view entirely. And I see a lot of animated shorts. It is in a long line of outstanding Russian animators, sadly not quite so many these days.