Krzysztof Kieslowski – Siedem kobiet w roznym wieku AKA Seven Women of Different Ages (1978)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

a description via: link
Subtle portraits of seven women: episodes in which each day of the week shows a ballerina of classical dance at work or in rehearsal; but the ages of the dancers vary from the smallest child taking her first steps in ballet to the eldest ballerina who is now a ballet teacher. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Szpital AKA Hospital (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

a description by one of IMdB members:
A very raw and intense look at a group of doctors who work their weekly 24 hour shifts. Starting in the morning the film follows the doctors as they treat various patients and accident victims. Laced with cynicism towards the Polish medical system, Hospital shows the non-stop grind and extreme pressures the doctors are put under. If you are squeamish, be warned. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Przeswietlenie AKA X-Ray (1974)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

a description by one of IMdB members:
With X-Ray I feel Kieslowski beginning to repeat himself. While his investigations of collective decision making at the workplace are superficially similar, he is mining deeper and deeper at a particular face exposing certain anomalies in Democratic Centralism. Here he collects the stories of men in a tubercular sanitarium which repeats, to a lesser effect, the methodology of Bylem zolnierzem (I Was a Soldier) (1970). After everyone has told their story, and are seen in a long shot sitting on a terrace attended by a very pretty nurse, Kieslowski delivers the punchline- a bus descends into a nearby town whose factories fill the valley with smoke containing who knows what health destroying toxins. Its all as simple as one, two, three. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Refren AKA Refrain (1972)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

a description by one of IMdB members:

Though this film illustrates how death has been reduced to ‘The Numbers’ it is implied at the end that both life and death have been reduced to the numbers. This film is uniquely shot from the point-of-view of the bureaucrats whose job it is to deregistrant the living to give their survivors permission to buy things like graves, coffins etc. The first image is of tearing out the pictures from identity books. It seems to be some weirdly arcane quasi-religious ritual whose purpose is at once obvious and inexplicable.

The frisson of this film is having the usual bureaucratic rigmarole, petty rules and arbitrary specifications implemented by some not so very terrible people, come up against people at their most vulnerable and emotional condition. These people have just had a loved one die and they are being dealt with by the book, by the numbers.

Background music, when its heard, is a harpsichord concerto. Continue reading

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

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

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)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

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)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

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