Review (Leo Goldsmith)
Films made under the state socialist regimes of Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century tend to fall roughly into two categories: the rigidly institutional and the scathingly anti-establishment. These films either serve to trumpet the cause of Communism or else find ways to avoid or subvert its conventions. The early films of Krzysztof Kieslowski present a slightly different alternative. On the one hand, these films duck the scrutiny of government censors with minute, incisive portraits of the system’s failings; but on the other, they tend to humanize and complicate the causes of these failings. Rather than make the system seem a corrupt, faceless entity, Kieslowski’s early films present a collection of individuals whose personal problems and shortcomings compose this system and thereby bring about its failure. Continue reading
A contemporary, multi-faceted metropolis. Nouveau-riche parents and their hedonist, live-in-the-moment children, surrounded by a reality where anger and tension pulsate almost to the brink of explosion. This is where we meet Marcin, a young man who comes to the city and meets Ola, a couple of years his junior. Fascinated, the girl lets him into her world of drugs, endless, bohemian parties and illegal car races. However, neither she nor her parents know that Marcin has a well-guarded secret and a plan for revenge… Continue reading
Two scientists are chosen as guinea pigs for a time experiment: they are placed in hibernation and should be brought back to life after three years. In the meantime, however, the World War III breaks out and life have been wiped out of the surface of the Earth. When they wake up, it turns out that not only 50 years have passed but also that they are the only living specimens of the male sex in a new, underground society composed exclusively of women. Max used to be woman-chaser so he finds himself in heaven. Albert, on the other hand, forgot all about love and sex as a serious scientist, but is willing to learn. So are the Amazons, who after a kiss turn into pliant kittens. The Council of Women is going to decide their fate, so they are trying to win more time. Eventually they make it to the surface, helped by beautiful Lamia. On the surface it turns out that there is life there and somebody has been living a decent life… Continue reading
Ida is a 2013 Polish drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI Special Presentations award. The film has been selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. It is also nominated for People’s Choice Award for Best European Film at 27th European Film Awards.
First short film by Wajda, based on the story “A Naughty Boy” by A. Chekhov. Continue reading
After a five-year hiatus from filmmaking, Piotr Szulkin returned in 1990 with “Femina”, based on a novel by Krystyna Kofta and inspired by Luis Bunuel.
The main character is Bogna, a thirty year old woman lost in her surrounding reality and unhappy in her private life. After her husband departs for a foreign scholarship, Bogna learns that her mother died. The trip to her hometown for the funeral becomes a voyage in time, during which she relives the memories of her idyllic childhood. Continue reading
Jerzy is a writer and a chronic alcoholic. We meet him at the point when he believes that he can beat his addiction. Him and her in bed. Somebody says “I love you”. It seems that there is a reason and someone to live for… But when once she’s gone and he’s alone in a taxi, Jerzy can’t stop himself any longer. He has a quick one at The Mighty Angel and then goes to an all-night shop and starts drinking heavily. And then foam, convulsions, vomiting. Jerzy ends up in intensive care. We meet the hospital staff and other alcoholics in the isolated ward. Part of the treatment is reading previously written stories from the times when the patients were drinking. There’s an array of characters here: a lorry driver, a director, a pharmacist, some dossers too, a student and a policeman… there are no exceptions because anyone can be trapped in addiction. There are many amusing and authentic life stories (who has never laughed at a drunkard?) but there are also some terrifying ones… Continue reading