Set in the late '20s. A thirtyish young man, who heads a small factory, faints at the funeral of a close friend. He decides to go home to his aunt and uncle for a while, but gets involved ... See full summary »
A violinist in a provincial Polish orchestra, whose husband is the director of the ensemble, on a visit to the U.S., ties up with the world-renowned symphony conductor. As it turns out, he ... See full summary »
In small-town Poland in the late 1950s, an aging woman married to a workaholic doctor meets a young man who makes her feel young again. Framed around this story, lead actress Krystyna Janda discusses the death of her husband from cancer.
The story of a well-known artistic family: legendary painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, his wife Zofia and their son Tomasz, a highly-praised music critic and translator. Their lives were far from being usual.
Jan P. Matuszynski
Volpone, an elderly Venetian, connives with his money-crazed servant to convince his greedy friends that he is dying, knowing that each will try to curry favor with him in order to be named... See full summary »
Jacques de Baroncelli
Janina Duszejko, an elderly woman, lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her.
A devout Catholic peasant girl is corrupted by two new friends when her family moves to the city. An allegory of traditional Polish values under threat from materialism and decadence in the post-Communist era.
When a small town begins losing its citizenry in a series of grisly murders, out-of-town police inspector Jean Lavardin (Jean Poiret) is sent to investigate. Could the killers be a bullied ... See full summary »
In a college, three friends form a secret society. Their objective - going to America. A night, after one of their secret meetings, one of them see a man coming out from a wall. Then the ... See full summary »
Erich von Stroheim,
The great Polish director Andrzej Wajda returns with this passionate biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (brilliantly played by Polish superstar Boguslaw Linda), who battled Stalinist orthodoxy and his own physical impairments to advance his progressive ideas about art.
The movie was selected to the 13th Edition of Dubai International Film Festival, December 2016. See more »
They praise the ones who suck up. They're silent about the real artists.
I spoke about this with Milosz. He also believes that an artist who can't speak with a full voice should be silent. Artists can be killed in two ways: either by talking about them too much or not at all.
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Amazing feat: at the age of 90 Andrzej Wajda is as convincing as he was at the age of 50! Exceptional cinematography: Marek Edelman as excellent as ever. Outstanding acting: Bogoslaw Linda a good bet for best acting. A very good script: keeping balance between the inevitably highbrow dialogues on art and unexpected turns of action. And example for this can be the end of a potential "love affair", which does not end on a romantic note but strikes hard with the brutal abducting of a beautiful girl. Who, by the way, is not the central romantic character. On the contrary, the "great love" remains invisible and is only made romantically visible by white flowers that turn blue. What could more lyrically stress the importance of color in life? By the way, that end of the "love story" is not a harsh rejection, as it may seem, but rather proves that the artist was really fond of the young girl and, nobly, would not allow her to wretch her life at his side.
The film is about the cruelty of the Stalinist period and how it intervened and interfered in the private lives of the common citizen and all the more so in the sphere of art, which "had to serve the people and the final victory of socialism". There are no throats being cut, people being shot or hanged. No spanking. Everything takes place in and "orderly way", for strict rules must be followed. Or perhaps only almost always! This reminds us of Kieslowski's film about killing or the thick atmosphere of Arthur Koestler's "Darkness at noon". Little by little art, i.e. the protagonist, is being suffocated. It is like cutting his veins, but not at once, slowly, in slow motion. Let him bleed to death, but "naturally". That was really a very hard time and Andrzej Wajda knows what he is talking about, for he experienced it "on his own skin", as you say in Polish. A symbolic image summarizes the pic: the window in the artist's dwelling is suddenly veiled by a red banner. A painter can somehow bear poverty, but can he survive without light? Brushes, paint? Wajda's choice of the actor (Boguslaw Linda) to embody Wladyslaw Strzeminski, one of the great Polish artists and art professors of that period, was fundamental to the artistic value of the picture. Bearing also in mind the fact that he had to play a cripple, who had lost two limbs, certainly made his acting even more daunting. And the outcome is certainly impressive.
Another factor that helps sooth the dreariness of the artist's predicaments is the strong presence of the teenager actress (Bronislawa Zamachowska) who plays his daughter. Her seemingly matter of fact reactions to reality and only rare expressions of deeper feelings function as a balance between the drama we witness and the everyday chores or the mere sipping of tea. "There are holes in my shoes" or "You smoke too much". His adoring students, on the other hand, may represent what was left of hope in those days. Their solidarity with the aging, crippled professor was an omen of better times to come, for who can defeat youth? And who can defeat art? The material shabbiness of those times, when "all were equal, but some were more equal than others", with food rationing, very poor dwellings etc. is shown in detail. Some viewers used to cinematic tangibility may not appreciate some of Wajda's discreet, very subtle hints and symbolic images, but, no doubt, in artistic terms this pic is a comeback to his heydays.
Rio Film Festival 8th October, 2016 Tomasz Lychowski
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