Plot / Synopsis
Set before the first Wold War in part of Poland under Austrain occupation, the story of a young boy in primary school who later grows up to become a rebellious, poetic-minded teen in the same school when the national movement toward liberation is under way. The story of a country where church amd state work together to suppress the human spirit.
As an independent state, Poland did not exist before the First World War. Parts of it were claimed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, parts by the Russian Empire, and the remaining portion went to the German Empire. In this story, a Polish boy’s education under the pre-war Austrian occupation is the subject. He finds all the pro-Empire, pro-Church indoctrination hard to stomach but is powerless to really rebel against it except in quiet ways. The teachers consciously engage in many cruel acts, and the boy’s only recourse is in poetry. Later, as a grown man, he is finally able to do something to throw off his nation’s oppressors. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi Continue reading
In 1960 Kazimierz Kutz’ second film NIKT NIE WOLA / NOBODY’S CALLING, based on a Jozef Hen novel that was never published in Poland, described the fate of Poles on the Eastern Front. Kutz used the film to explore new formal solutions, collaborating closely with cinematographer Jerzy Wojcik to reveal the psychological landscape of a pair of lovers who are strongly affected by wartime events. The camera recorded the couple’s inner experiences, contrasting their muted intimacy against the surrounding scenery of a ruined town. The film did not win over critics at the time of its release. It was not until later that critics recognized Kutz’s effort to experiment with aesthetics in a manner akin to that pursued by filmmakers of the new wave. NOBODY’S CALLING came to be compared with Michelangelo Antonioni’s THE ADVENTURE, which was produced around the same time. Continue reading
This is a collection of Hieronim Neumann’s experimental film and animation work from 1979 to 2005. Continue reading
Here is a film before which words fall silent. “The Mill & the Cross” contains little dialogue, and that simple enough. It enters into the world of a painting, and the man who painted it. If you see no more than the opening shots, you will never forget them. It opens on a famous painting, and within the painting, a few figures move and walk. We will meet some of those people in more detail.
The painting is “The Way to Calvary” (1564), by the Flemish master Pieter Bruegel the Elder. We might easily miss the figure of Christ among the 500 in the vast landscape. Others are going about their everyday lives. That’s a reminder of Bruegel’s famous painting “Landscape With the Fall of Icarus,” about which Auden wrote of a passing ship “that must have seen something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.” Extraordinary events take place surrounded by ordinary ones. Continue reading
Told as a film within the film, the story concerns an aging actress. Ewa is a flamboyant, pushy actress whose career and love life have come to a dead end. She lives in a faceless housing development. She is totally engrossed in herself and dreams of making a comeback as a singer. But her overbearing personality time after time sets her into conflict with those she tries to work with in the theater and her bedroom Continue reading