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A surreal adventure in the life of a little girl with a wild imagination.

2012 | 5 - 10 | Childhood | Fantasy | France | Mixed Media

Pyskessa is a lonely and silent girl. She lives with her troubled dad, who doesn’t seem to be coping well with her mother’s. Their home is in the countryside, isolated from everything, and the girl spends her days by herself, running in the woods. The beauty of childhood, says the narrator, lies in the great gift of imagination,  that puts everything under a positive light. Pyskessa’s only friend is her radio, that she carries with her everywhere: to her, that lifeless box indeed has a beating heart. Time goes by, and the box grows and grows, as if it were a person. The bigger it gets, the lower its sound  becomes, till one day, the radio becomes silent. The girl gets really desperate, and cries and cries until one big explosion will come, changing her life forever: she’s now able to capture all the radio signals herself, e her head is now full of songs, words, newscasts, all genres of music. It’s very hard to be constantly “attacked” by all these sounds, so the child will have to find a solution: here’s when the story will take a fantasy turn that’ll make it dreamier than a fairy tale and more surreal than a sci-fi novel.

Pyskessa is a clear example of how the shorts world is becoming a testing ground for hybrid films, that by no means constricted by market necessities are no longer inscribing in a specific genre, mixing techniques and themes in absolute freedom. The short stars as an intimate portrait of a dysfunctional family, then it turns into a surreal tale about childhood, freely becoming a mixed animation to finally exploding in a nearly-paranormal finale. Technically impeccable (among other awards, it won for Best Cinematography at the 2012 Clermont Ferrand festival), this film never satisfies the viewer’s expectations: every plot turn is unexpected, almost confusing at times, logic leaves room for fantasy and the surreal, just like various forms of animation replace the live-action scenes.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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