Tag Archives: Zbigniew Cybulski

Jacques Baratier – La poupée AKA The Doll (1962)

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While there is an element of science fiction to this political satire about Latin American dictatorships, that element is primarily used to promote the storyline and the message, and not as a value in itself. In a make-believe Spanish-speaking country of the Americas, a dictator (Zbigniew Cybulski) rules with the usual degree of corruption but as it turns out, his wife is the one who gives most of the orders. Two story strands are then woven together: a scientist has invented a way to replicate objects and, lo and behold, he discovers he can make a robotic duplicate of the dictator’s wife. Meanwhile, an ardent, left-leaning revolutionary who happens to be a dead ringer for the dictator ends up taking over the tyrant’s role when he is assassinated. So one has a robotic wife and a fake dictator now running a country which is none the wiser… Read More »

Wojciech Has – Jak byc kochana AKA How to Be Loved (1963)

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A drama about unfulfilled love (screenplay by Kazimierz Brandys based on his own short story). The film is for the most part the reminiscence of a radio actress named Felicja, who thinks back to the World War II occupation of Poland by Germany, when she hid a man (Wiktor) sought by the Gestapo in her apartment for a prolonged period. In order to remove suspicion from herself, she began to appear on stage, which rendered her a collaborator in the eyes of her peers from the acting community. Felicja made this sacrifice for Wiktor because she loved him and in spite of her love being unreturned. On the other hand, Wiktor perceives her sacrifice as a burden though Felicja does not notice this. Read More »

Janusz Morgenstern – Do widzenia, do jutra aka See You Tomorrow; Good Bye, Till Tomorrow (1960)

In this routine story within a story from Poland, Jacek (Zbigniew Cybulski) is the head of a troupe of thespians and so he is responsible for getting together the material for them to act out on the stage. One day he meets Marguerite (Teresa Tuszynska), the charming and sophisticated daughter of a French diplomat, and his heart does flips. He longs to be with her but she herself is more sensible. What kind of a life would she have with an actor? His ultimate rejection leaves him ample time to mope around and be miserable. But then, Jacek the actor has to get another story ready for his troupe — and so was this sequence of love lost real — or another play for the troupe to perform?~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Read More »

Andrzej Wajda – Popiól i diament aka Ashes and Diamonds [+Extras] (1958)

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On the last day of World War Two in a small town somewhere in Poland, Polish exiles of war and the occupying Soviet forces confront the beginning of a new day and a new Poland. In this incendiary environment we find Home Army soldier Maciek Chelmicki, who has been ordered to assassinate an incoming commissar. But a mistake stalls his progress and leads him to Krystyna, a beautiful barmaid who gives him a glimpse of what his life could be. Gorgeously photographed and brilliantly performed, Ashes and Diamonds masterfully interweaves the fate of a nation with that of one man, resulting in one of the most important Polish films of all time. Read More »

Wojciech Has – Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie aka The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)

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During the Napoleonic Wars a young French officer seeks shelter in an abandoned building in the town of Saragossa. In this building he discovers a rather odd book, and when an enemy officer attempts to arrest him, the the second officer is also drawn to narrate the book which seems to have been written by his own grandfather (Zbigniew Cybulski). Soon the officer’s grandfather finds himself immersed within a story of fleeing gypsy cannibals, married to Muslim sisters … in his dreams, and on the run from the Spanish Inquisition. But when he meets up with a Cabalist and his storytelling friends, that is when things start to get truly interesting. Read More »

Wojciech Has – Szyfry AKA The Codes (1966)

Tadeusz (Jan Kreczmar) is a Polish veteran of World War II who fled to London at the end of the war, leaving behind his wife Zofia (Irena Eichlerówna) and son, Maciek (Zbigniew Cybulski), who disappeared when he was 12 years old. Tadeusz returns to Kraków to discover that Maciek is alive, his wife may have been a partisan and that his son may have turned in his own mother in to the authorities. During Maciek’s struggle to understand his parents’ history, questions of collaboration with the Gestapo and Home Army retribution arise. Has pictures the mystical lost boy in a dark fairy-tale forest, full of the ghosts of the war and wholesale executions. The hypnotic quality of these excursions foreshadows the mesmerizing passages of Has’s later film, The Hour-Glass Sanatorium. Read More »

Andrzej Wajda – Popiól i Diament AKA Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

As WWII and the German occupation ends, the Polish resistance and the Russian forces turn on each other in an attempt to take over leadership in Communist Poland. Read More »