SUMMARY: When his playing summons up a tempest which sweeps a woman out to sea, a cellist attempts to rescue her from various sea monsters.
WHY IT’S HERE: French animator Jean-Francois Laguionie’s debut short ‘The Maid and the Cellist’ is an artistically ravishing film with a rather uncertain story. A cellist on a Cliffside plays a tune which whips up a storm and sweeps a woman out to sea. The cellist attempts to save her but the two end up at the bottom of the ocean. They seem quite happy there together until they are forced to do battle with vicious sea creatures. Returning to land, they take one look at a beach full of holidaymakers and return to the sea. It’s a story with too much going-on and no certain direction. The final anti-consumerist message seems entirely out of place and tacked on. That said, if the storytelling isn’t up to much then the art design and gently attractive animation style is well worth seeing the film for and makes it a pleasure throughout.