G_girls.Ginny

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by Susi Jirkuff

grade: 7

In G_girls.Ginny, coupled with the short film G_girls.Gracie, we see an extremely strong and overbearing urbanisation, in a city in which it is by no means easy to live. Yet the young protagonist, for her part, still seems to maintain that freshness, that innocence and naivety typical of her age.

Suddenly, colour

Imposing buildings with identical shapes. A grey, bleak and severe city, where a few rays of sunshine rarely peep through. All this drawn with pencils and crayons and edited in a frenetic way. This is the world in which young Ginny lives, the protagonist of the short film G_girls.Ginny, made by Susi Jirkuff in 2015 (together with G_girls.Gracie, which completes it) and included in the Diagonale 2020 retrospective Sehnsucht 2020 – Eine kleine Stadterzählung. G_girls.Ginny, together with the director’s other work, has been included in the programme Diagonale 2020 – The Unfinished, after the festival was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

If, then, in the previous G_girls.Gracie , we witnessed a phone call between Gracie and her friend Ginny on a rainy day, in G_girls.Ginny the director’s camera focuses on the second girl, letting us listen to a conversation between her and a man (probably her father), during which the young girl tells us what really happened during an outing with her friends, when they had been pulling a lot of stunts.

Another story, a totally different reality. The cityscape of G_girls.Ginny – here realised, unlike the author’s previous work, with pencil drawings and pastels – immediately becomes the main protagonist, as it witnesses the events that the little girl is telling her father. The buildings reproduced here, then, seem exceedingly severe and not at all forgiving. A gloomy, dull grey dominates the scene and decidedly contrasts with young Ginny’s extremely calm and serene tone of voice. Then, suddenly, the editing becomes more frenetic, the shots often oblique, the scenery angular. And vivid colour spots finally peep onto the screen.

Even in G_girls.Ginny, then, we see an extremely strong and overbearing urbanisation, in a city in which it is by no means easy to live. Yet the young protagonist, for her part, still seems to maintain that freshness, innocence and naivety typical of her age. The world in which she lives, therefore, seems to us almost the opposite of the one in which her friend Gracie lives (although, most probably, they are two different neighbourhoods within the same city). Ginny’s seems even colder, even more sterile. Much less human-friendly than the quiet neighbourhood where Gracie lives. Two different realities, then, providing an overall impression of living in a city and being a teenager today.

These two works by Susi Jirkuff are only meant to be watched together, one after the other. And one indispensably complements the other. Two open windows into two apparently different worlds that are just waiting to be explored.

Original title: G_girls.Ginny
Directed by: Susi Jirkuff
Country/year: Austria / 2015
Running time: 5’
Genre: animation, coming-of-age
Cast: Georgina Nightingale, Howard Nightingale
Screenplay: Susi Jirkuff
Cinematography: Susi Jirkuff
Produced by: Susi Jirkuff

Info: the page of G_girls.Ginny on sixpackfilm.com