Andrzej Żuławski: A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe

  • MUBI
Andrzej Żuławski. Photo by Isabelle Vautier.How does one translate into film the books by Witold Gombrowicz, who ranks among the greatest modernists of the 20th century? Few have actually dared. Whereas Peter Lilienthal’s adaptation for television of Pornografia (Die Sonne angreifen, 1971) has been all but consigned to oblivion, the famed Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski went on a 17-year hiatus following his failed adaptation of Ferdydurke (30 Door Key, 1991). However, the opposite holds true for Andrzej Żuławski, who came out of a 15-year pause to adapt for the screen Gombrowicz’s fourth novel Cosmos (1965), also his last and most complex. Unfortunately, it became a farewell work for Żuławski as well. What kind of cosmos is it? First and foremost, it’s the bizarre microcosm of a boarding house where the young writer Witold (Jonathan Genet) arrives with his friend Fuchs (Johan Libéreau) in tow to finish his novel The Haunted.
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