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A Gentle Spirit More at IMDbPro »Lagodna (original title)

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

animated adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "A Gentle Spirit"

10/10
Author: Timothy Damon (thd@cwru.edu) from United States
8 March 2004

Piotr Dumula's "Lagodna" was adapted from the same source as Bresson's "Une Femme Douce" (1969)- Dostoevsky's 1876 story "A Gentle Spirit" (aka "A Gentle Creature", "A Gentle Spirit"). The film begins with the ticking of a grandfather clock, a woman lying silently in a bed and a man watching her. Dumala animates the story (using heavy plaster plates) with effective use of fades, close-ups, extreme close-ups, and morphing of materials (partway through the film a tablecloth is pulled by the woman; in a fluid movement it has become the bedsheet from the opening scene. At different times the hands of the clock move backwards - once, moving forward the hands morph into the man. The woman screams and her face takes on the likeness of the Munch painting. A buzzing fly landing on the woman's face in the first sequence re-appears on her face toward the end - she makes no response. The man slaps the fly on her face - the room begins to fade leaving the man by himself on a chair. The clock continues to tick as we fade to an empty room . ..

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6/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
11 January 2013

This story is apparently a retelling of Dostoyevsky--"A Gentle Creature" (or "A Gentle Spirit"). However, it's VERY, VERY hard to gather that this is the case, as the film is very sketchy and so much of the story is NOT apparent in this animated story. Now this does NOT mean the film is bad--it just ISN'T really the full Dostoyevsky story--just some sketchy bits from it. So, while the story is VERY sketchy and confusing, it is worth seeing for Piotr Dumala's very impressive and unusual animation. Instead of a typical cartoon look, he has created what looks like a piece of art--a cross-hatched look that most closely resembles a drypoint print. It's very arresting and you simply see the film for this, not for the story. Worth a look.

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