The Story of Sin (1975) - News Poster

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The Story Of Sin (1975) – The Blu Review

Review by Roger Carpenter

Polish director Walerian Borowczyk, long a filmmaker of experimental shorts, became a beloved celebrity of the arthouse circuit with his first two films, Goto Island of Love and Blanche. He began to fall out of favor with that crowd after his next two films were deemed pornographic and in bad taste, those films being Immoral Tales and, perhaps his most notorious film, The Beast. Lensing each of these films in France, where he made his home, The Story of Sin was his triumphant return to his Polish homeland.

The Story of Sin tells the tale of Ewa (Grazyna Dlugolecka), a beautiful yet pious young woman who strives to maintain a life free of sin. Her aging father cannot find work so the family lets rooms to keep afloat. Enter Lukasz (Jerzy Zelnick), a handsome young man separated from his wife and in need of a room.
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Story of Sin

There’s plenty of Sin in Walerian Boroczyk’s searing movie, but little of it can be laid at the feet of its heroine, no matter what terrible crimes she commits. In pre-WW1 Poland, the innocent Ewa’s tragedy is to fall hopelessly in love, without restraint; Boroczyk’s camera doesn’t flinch as the hapless Ewa falls from grace. Amour fou has been crazier than this, but rarely as destructive. Artistically this show is flawless, and in terms of sex politics it’s a scream of protest.

Story of Sin

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Academy USA

1975 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 130 min. / Dzieje grzechu / Street Date March 28, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video / 39.95

Starring: Grazyna Dlugolecka, Jerzy Zelnik, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Roman Wilhelmi, Marek Walczewski, Karolina Lubienska, Zdzislaw Mrozewski, Mieczyslaw Voit, Marek Bargielowski.

Cinematography: Zygmunt Samosiuk

Film Editor: Lidia Pacewicz

Written by Walerian Borowczyk from the novel by Stefan Zeromski

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk

Walerian Borowczyk
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The Sex Objects of Walerian Borowczyk

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective The Many Sins of Walerian Borowczyk is showing February 12 - June 18, 2017 in the United States and in many other countries around the world.If you were making a period movie in the classic era, it need not noticeably be any more or less unreal than a conventional contemporary film: in both cases, almost everything would be shot in the studio and every prop or costume would be made specially or brought in from a prop store. Nothing would be real.By the sixties and seventies, this approach was becoming extinct and a new generation were making films on location, with natural light, natural actors, natural clothing. For a period movie, this meant finding locations that were largely unchanged since the period in question, and bringing to them appropriate props and costumes. A filmmaker might be tempted to focus more closely on these details in order to bring to
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Alas, Poor Boro, I Found Thee: Phantom Forms Brought to Light

  • MUBI
Daniel Bird: “What is your opinion of Walerian Borowczyk’s work?”Andrzej Żuławski: “Borowczyk? Oh, he lost himself, I think, it’s a pity because he was quite a talent.” One radical filmmaker laments another radical. With one sentence, Żuławski encapsulates the conventional arc of Borowczyk, or as he calls himself in Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre (1967), Boro’s career. He was a great animator working with Jan Lenica in Poland and, when moving to France, Chris Marker[1]. His shorts influenced Jan Švankmajer, Terry Gilliam, and the Quay Brothers, and were praised by critics like Amos Vogel and Raymond Durgnat. With his first two live-action feature-films, Goto, Island of Love (1968) and Blanche (1971), critics hailed Boro as part of the major league—an auteur. He’s the next Bresson! He’s the next Buñuel! Then he made Immoral Tales (1974), a blemish in his body of work at this point in his career.
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A short history of Polish cinema

Polish film was an early frontrunner, before occupation forced wave after wave of talent abroad. Its fortitude is embodied by Andrzej Wajda – still going strong 50 years after his first feature

There aren't many traces on the internet of the early Polish pioneers: people such as Kazimierz Prószyński and Bolesław Matuszewski who were operating at the turn of the century, turning out silent short docos called things like Ślizgawka w Łazienkach (Skating-rink in the Royal Baths). (Prószyński was also a pioneering camera inventor, developing a model called a pleograph in 1894, and a handheld effort called an aeroscope in 1909.) Nor is there any link for Anton in Warsaw for the First Time, Poland's legendary first feature film, directed by and starring Antoni Fertner in 1908.

Fertner, though, went on to a respectable career as an actor in the interwar period – you can see him as an old man in Książątko (1937, above) and Gehenna
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