Agnieszka Smoczynska – Córki dancingu AKA The Lure (2015)

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One dark night, at water’s edge, a family of musicians encounter aquatic sirens Silver and Golden. After assuring the family that they won’t eat them up, the winsome sirens are recruited to join the Figs and Dates band at a neon-lit Warsaw dance club. When Silver becomes romantically entangled with beautiful blonde bassist Mietek, the more cunning Golden, who cannot escape her bloodthirsty nature, worries that her sister’s relationship will doom their shared dream of swimming to a new life in America. Continue reading

Krzysztof Zanussi – Barwy ochronne AKA Camouflage (1977)

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A group of students are spending the summer vacation at a university camp studying the science of linguistics. One of the camp directors, Jaroslaw, is a young professor who prefers the straightforward, intimate approach to students. He is opposed in his liberal views by Jakub, who likes to manipulate people. There is a confrontation from the beginning when Jaroslaw allows to attend the seminar a student who presents the views not according to the official line. In the end, a jury prize is given to mediocre paper, while the suspected school of thought still draws a recommendation. Finally the deputy rector arrives for the closing ceremonies, and since he disfavors the line of thought awarded by the recommendation the tensions rise. They climax when student in question bites the rector in the ear while receiving recommendation. The confrontation results in a scandal and the police is called in. Continue reading

Magdalena Szymków – Mój dom AKA My House Without Me (2012)

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Two women, one house. An intimate story about a Pole and a German placed by war on enemy sides and their parallel lives accidentally brought together.

The film reflects on the concepts of invaders, victim, guilt and forgiveness. It confronts different experiences and their paradoxical similarities. It deals with the controversial subject of the post-war accountings.

The visual narration is flowing, guided by memories and archives. Traditional documentation confronts experimental use of archival footage in the cinematic impression about displacement. Continue reading

Krzysztof Zanussi – Obce cialo AKA Foreign Body (2014)

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Synopsis:
Angelo and Kasia met in Italy in a Focolari prayer group and were brought together by love and faith in God. Their relationship is interrupted by the young woman’s return to Poland and her decision to become a nun. Angelo comes to Warsaw to persuade Kasia to change her mind. Waiting for her decision, he gets a job at a multinational corporation. The company is run by a ruthless and cynical woman, Kris. In the corporate reality the deeply religious Angelo falls victim to mockery and mobbing. Using her power, Kris toys with him and wants to force him to violate his moral principles, while being fascinated by his faith at the same time. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o zabijaniu AKA A Short Film About Killing (1988)

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Death from the very beginning — a rat decomposing in the water, a cat hanging from a railing as giggling children run off. In Krzysztof Kieslowski’s expansion of the Decalogue: Five segment (“Thou shalt not kill”), the commandment bounds individual and governmental killing into one object of anguished contemplation. Biblical intimations also figure in the bar exam summation (“Since Cain, no punishment has been capable of improving the world”) of apprentice attorney Krzysztof Globisz, one of the three Warsaw dwellers whose path ominously converge; the others are a 20-year-old drifter (Miroslaw Baka) and a jaundiced, middle-aged cabbie (Jan Tesarz). The obscured-vision effects of Slawomir Idziak’s dirty-sepia filters — characters encircled by soiling irises — suggest isolated realities clashing appallingly in the most excruciating murder since Torn Curtain’s farmhouse killing: a mid-ride throttling, Tesarz’s writhing foot emerging bare from shoe and sock, a heavy body dragged through an almost Tarkovskyan marsh before the final bludgeoning at Bakas hand’s. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o milosci AKA A Short Film About Love (1988)

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Quote:
An obscured thief breaks into a school gymnasium at night to steal a portable telescope from the science lab. On the following morning, the thief, Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko) sets up the telescope on his desk, facing the window of his room, and across the courtyard into an adjacent apartment. Later in the day, an attractive, hurried woman named Magda (Grazyna Szapolowska) stops by the post office in order to claim a money order after receiving a notification in her mailbox, only to be informed by the attentive young postal clerk, Tomek, that there is nothing being held at the station on her behalf. Back home, Tomek sets his alarm clock to 8:00 pm, the approximate time of Magda’s return home. Tomek would prepare his meals and dine in the privacy of his room, away from the curious gaze of his godmother (Stefania Iwinska), and spend hours observing Magda as she goes through the routine of her household tasks, often placing anonymous, silent telephone calls to hear the sound of her voice. Continue reading