Krzysztof Kieslowski – Z miasta Lodzi AKA From the City of Lodz (1968)

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a description by one of IMdB members:

This is something like a school assignment from when Kieslowski was a film student in Lodz. It is a simple visual celebration of the passing of old Lodz (what was left of it from the war) as new building replace the old and new people replace the old. The old are really resentful at being displaced. This expresses itself in the music. The old people, long time workers at the factory, are upset because the factories traditional mandolin band is being, well, disbanded, to be replaced by pop music. Believe me when I tell you that the pop music, taking on all sorts of forms from the kind of euro rock derived from misheard American and British bands to rumba rhythms with corny lyrics. Really the old stuff was great and now its gone. The women of the factory are being pensioned off one by one and they’re all reluctant to leave but leave they must. Of course Lodz is something of an interesting case. A village which was chosen to be the Manchester of the Russian empire it became known as The Promised Land because of the availability of work in the huge textile plants and became the second largest city in Poland. The Polish population was further shaken by the war and virtually no one lives where either their parents or grand parents lived. The turnover has be the one constant of this synthetically created place. Kieslowski is unable to display his nostalgia except reflected from the hard surface of this little gem. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Z punktu widzenia nocnego portiera AKA From a Night Porter’s Point of View (1978)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
This is quite simply a weirdy. It would be in anyone’s opus but in Kieslowski’s it’s even stranger. Simply the monologue of a Night Porter (or Night Watchman might be a better translation). It is filmed very simply and straight forwardly and in some scenes the whirring if the camera’s motor can be heard.

The night porter is going on about his theory of life and at first its a bit bathetic because its clear that the man is somewhat stunted and narrow in his ambitions. I saw this on the same bill as SPOROJ and it was made around the same time. There is a connection in the men’s similar overweening modesty which recalls such mythical characters as Gimple the Fool. They are men who describe their own lives within strictly constricted parameters. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Murarz AKA Bricklayer (1973)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
A bit of color for once, all the better to see the red flags with, not to mention the obvious aerial file footage of Warsaw. The story concerns Jozef Malesa, the mason or bricklayer of the title. He was once the darling of the party, the son of two old party activists, a worker of heroic reputation, his own commitment to The Movement unquestioned. He was chosen to be destined for great things, specially educated and pushed forward to positions of responsibility in the Party. Eventually he decides, because of the ethical pressures which he feels from the obstructionism of the bureaucracy from above, he asks to return to be a simple bricklayer. He is disturbed with the way the Party deals with people, especially their lack of direct contact. He thinks workers know better than the leadership many times but that’s not the way power flows. He is uncomfortable with the compromises to his idealism. He remains committed to social justice and joins his friends for the May Day rally where his comfort and confidence in his place in society cause him to defer to no man, certainly no rat faced men in overcoats with red armbands. His great pleasure in life moreover is laying brick. He finds the work satisfying and fulfilling which is why he was such an obviously superior worker in the first place. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Dworzec aka Railway Station (1980)

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Description: Kieslowski’s later film Dworzec (Station, 1980) portrays the atmosphere at Central Station in Warsaw after the rush hour. It opens with the main television news at 7:30PM, providing information about the communist party leader, Edward Gierek. The recurrent image, Orwellian in spirit, of security cameras watching people, organises the film. In the last scene the camera moves inside the surveillance room and presents various images of the station on multiple screens. Its political, Orwellian touches aside, Station is chiefly admired for its attention to detail, its portrayal of tired, almost inanimate faces, “people looking for something”, the reality that has nothing to do with the optimism of the television news. Continue reading

Agnès Varda – Shorts collection (1957 – 2007)

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Plaisirs d’amour en Iran (1976)
How to talk about love while staring at the mosque or talk about architecture when in bed. This short is a sort of a variation on love retlations between Pomme and Ali Darius (from “one sings the other doesn’t”). But it can also be any couple daydreaming in such a perfect place like the great King Mosque at Ispahan, where secular and sacred art meet. Continue reading

Fernando Eimbcke & So Yong Kim – Correspondencia: Fernando Eimbcke – So Yong Kim (2011)

“artdaily.org” wrote:
These two filmmakers belong to the same generation, and share an aesthetic approach and sense of humour and intimacy. Their correspondence produced an epistolary exchange that employs a minimalism of gesture and motif to follow the lives of the two filmmakers for a whole year. Continue reading