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Klaabu kosmoses

Entry updated 19 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Estonian/Russian animated film (1981; vt Klaabu in Space). Tallinnfilm. Directed by Avo Paistik. Written by Avo Paistik and Enn Vetemaa. 15 minutes. Colour.

Klaabu kosmoses is the third part of a trilogy of dialogue-free shorts by Paistik. The first is Klaabu (1978; 10 minutes), where an egg is formed from a drop of water and is brooded by a passing bird: it hatches into Klaabu, a four-limbed egg with a face (and, judging from the eyebrows, female). Hearing the sound of the sea she treks to the coast, her adventures along the way revealing powers of Invisibility and flight. On arrival she meets Ninni, of unclear species: the pair hug and fly off across the ocean together, holding a ramshackle umbrella.

The second film, Klaabu, Nipi ja tige kala (1979; 9 minutes), continues the story: the pair, now on a boat (equipped with a giant gramophone horn which emits jazz and hysterical laughter), are swallowed by a sea Monster: in its belly are the ruins of old ships and Pessik, a dog. To avoid boredom they perform circus acts to an audience of fish; this upsets the monster, causing it to vomit its stomach contents and enabling the boat, with Klaabu, Ninni and Pessik aboard, to fly off into the sky.

With Klaabu kosmoses we rejoin the trio, now travelling in a Spaceship that is literally a giant saucer, though fitted with Technology. They land on a planet covered in giant fruit and vegetables; here big-footed Aliens fire various produce out of their trumpet-like noses, but mainly raspberries. They befriend our Heroes, and we see the planet is a Pastoral Eden with contented inhabitants; Klaabu is made their monarch. Sadly the idyll is broken by the arrival of a humanoid mushroom (see Invasion) that devours the raspberries and covers everything with its fungal spores – some growing into mushrooms that depart for passing planets. Eventually Klaabu manages to kill the invader, but apparently dies too; the world is left bleak and arid and the spaceship destroyed. However, after the weeping Pessik urinates on her (looking at the camera as he does so), Klaabu revives; whereupon they resuscitate Ninni (using more orthodox means). A giant raspberry now grows, then flies off towards another planet carrying Klaabu, Ninni, Pessik and some of the aliens.

Given the era and the Russian origin of the film, a knee-jerk assumption might be that the humanoid mushroom is a metaphor for Capitalism and/or the United States (see Cold War): however, the film was made in Estonia (Paistik being Estonian), then enduring decades of Soviet occupation (see Imperialism): any satirical bite (see Satire) is therefore more likely to be directed at Russia. For example, the horrific effect of the spores might represent the loss of Estonian culture through "Russification" (see Politics).

The backgrounds are fairly detailed though the character animation is, with occasional exceptions, more simplistic: both are fairly ugly in appearance. This curious film is Absurdist with darker elements, also having an interesting electronic soundtrack by Sven Grünberg. [SP]


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