Polish cinema, Wajda or not

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I saw Mother Of Kings a long time ago and, from what i recall, it's fairly heavy going but excellent and has some superb performances from Wojcik, Linda, etc.

Przesluchanie is very good too - pretty much anything with Krystyna Janda in is worth watching.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Sunday, 16 November 2014 17:42 (eight years ago) link

Bought this on DVD for £2 just yesterday:


Love Second Run as a label, but wish they would include commentary tracks on their discs - these are films that would often benefit from additional context/insight.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Monday, 17 November 2014 12:34 (eight years ago) link

thx ShariVari, I was of course too tired to go to any 'slow cinema' at 7pm on a Sunday.

things lose meaning over time (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 November 2014 15:30 (eight years ago) link

KK i think is amazing and pretty hard to not warm to, but I would go for the earlier stuff, rather than the 3 colours trilogy or veronique, which i never really liked that much for some reason. but camera buff, blind chance and dekalog are alll brilliant.

StillAdvance, Monday, 17 November 2014 16:16 (eight years ago) link

ica should be showing dekalog as an all dayer really...

StillAdvance, Monday, 17 November 2014 16:16 (eight years ago) link

A strange question and a strange place to ask it but does anyone know if Emmanuelle 5 has any redeeming features from a cinematic POV? I've been going through the Walerian Borowczyk films i hadn't previously seen (Blanche yesterday, which i enjoyed) and it's the only one left that's still in print. I think it was David Thompson (who clearly hadn't seen it either) who suggested that Borowczyk didn't have it in him to make an uninteresting film but it doesn't seem to have any kind of reputation at all, even with softcore genre fans.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 08:25 (eight years ago) link

Can't help you with Emmanuelle 5, can help you with your spelling of David Thomson (who also reps for Jancsó's Private Vices, Public Virtues, similarly sold as a softcore porn movie in the UK)

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 08:47 (eight years ago) link

I was referring to former Coventry City midfielder David Thompson, naturally, but will check out the Jancsó. Thanks.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 09:05 (eight years ago) link

I just watched Knife In the Water for the 3rd or 4th time last weekend. I think it's becoming an all-time favorite.

nicky lo-fi, Thursday, 20 November 2014 19:32 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Announcment from Arrow Video today - Walerian Borowczyk's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne will be restored from its original 35mm negative and released in early 2015.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 14 January 2015 13:06 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Walerian Borowczyk retro coming to NY; haven't seen any


touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 20:46 (eight years ago) link

if wajda only known!

(NB: you need to know how that word is pronounced to grasp my incredibly bad "pun")

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 20:54 (eight years ago) link


touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 21:03 (eight years ago) link

oh wajdon't know about that.

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 21:10 (eight years ago) link

Definitely try to catch something at the Borowczyk retrospective if you can. La Bête is great fun and still genuinely eyebrow-raising today. Visually, Contes Immoraux might be my favourite. Love Rites is a bore but everything else has something going for it.

Rainbow DAESH (ShariVari), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 23:37 (eight years ago) link

i think my favorite boro is a mind-blowing animated short he made called "renaissance." it'll break your brain.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 5 March 2015 00:32 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...

anyone know the mid-80s sci-fi O-Bi, O-Ba - The End of Civilization? Showing at Columbia U tomw night.




the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Friday, 27 March 2015 01:47 (eight years ago) link

i dunno La Bete sounds like something i would hate... i guess i shd see the shorts, Jekyll, Immoral Tales, maybe Blanche or Goto.


the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 18:56 (eight years ago) link

Opening this Borowczyk retrospective with Jekyll is, hmmm. curious... because it stirs in me the sinking feeling that he's JUST A WEIRD GIALLO-TYPE DIRECTOR WHO IS UNKNOWN HERE FOR A REASON.

But the other stuff is different, right? So I'll *sigh* see. A little.

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 April 2015 14:11 (eight years ago) link

I *love* O-Bi, O-Ba. Szulkin's my favorite Polish director. I wrote this thing about it a few years ago:


Dave fischer, Saturday, 4 April 2015 19:09 (eight years ago) link


His Dr Jekyll aside (which I've not seen), Borowcyzk isn't remotely a giallo director - he's got much more in common w/ baroque animator types like Svankmajer, the Quay Bros or even Terry Gilliam (who is a Borowcyzk admirer), rococo Euro stuff like Marketa Lazarova, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Szindbad etc, as well as certain strains of Euro decadent seventies porno, hard and softcore.

It's a nonsense to say he's unknown in America.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Saturday, 4 April 2015 21:06 (eight years ago) link

Well I've seen enough stuff that i think i can be called a 98th percentile US cinephile, and i'd never heard of him. (Academics are a different lot.)

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 April 2015 05:02 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, but you tend to avoid the playful.

Eric H., Sunday, 5 April 2015 05:36 (eight years ago) link


the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 April 2015 05:44 (eight years ago) link

The guy's films, afaik, seldom got released here, so his being relatively unknown is not that big a mystery.

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 April 2015 05:45 (eight years ago) link

Horse opens up the Polish cinema thread, moderator sez "Wajda long face?"

Is It Because I'm Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 April 2015 05:55 (eight years ago) link

Morbs, have never doubted yr cinephile credentials, but yr frequently-stated antipathy to genre/cult cinemas means you never sully yrself w/ the kind of non-academic cinephilia, within or without America, where Borowcyzk (and Franco, Rollin etc etc) is a pretty big deal. I wld agree that in terms of cinema exhibition, Borowcyzk has almost certainly been better served in Europe than America, but home video has pretty much leveled that playing field.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Sunday, 5 April 2015 10:16 (eight years ago) link

Doubt Morbs has any time for Video.

Hasn't a lot of stuff like Giallo etc been absorbed by academia though? Perhaps its mostly a European thing.

Always keep missing Borowcyzk :-(

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 April 2015 10:34 (eight years ago) link

I watch about half of the films I see in a year at home.

One indicator: the NY Public Library holds five Manoel de Oliveira DVDs in their circulating collection, Borowczyk zero. (I suspect there aren't any to be held, though it appears that will change in coming months.)

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 April 2015 14:39 (eight years ago) link

you tend to avoid the playful.

was gonna list all the "playful" auteurs I like, starting with the dozens of Leo McCarey-directed slapstick silent shorts, but no.

I'd have to say I didn't entirely dislike Borowczyk's Jekyll... after seeing Immoral Tales. Oy vey. It's not porn, but it similarly makes sex look boring.

(way down the list, i'm an old-fashioned queer who finds closeups of ladybush disquieting)

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Monday, 6 April 2015 01:38 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Saw Doctor Jekyll et les Femmes last night - Morbs neglected to mention it has a terrific electronic score by Bernard Parmegiani that takes the delerium to a whole new level. The film reminded me of Dreyer's Vampyr in the way that it utterly collapses narrative and spatial coherence in pursuit of dream logic (and of course Bunuel applies here too - the church, the law, the family are all destroyed at the end of the film.) The Fredric March Dr Jekyll brought out the lurking sexual subtext within Stevenson's story, and of course Borowczyk goes to town with that too (tho the film isn't excessively explicit); its most original idea - that Jekyll's wife wants to throw off Victorian restraint and join him in becoming a monstrously sexual being - helps to end things on a beautifully orchestrated image/music crescendo of mutual desire that is pure polymorphous perversity.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:51 (eight years ago) link

Wow. Some really good stuff there.

Ethnically Ambiguous / 28 - 45 (ShariVari), Tuesday, 21 April 2015 11:18 (eight years ago) link

Well-timed revival, since I just saw "Knife In The Water" on TCM last night

Sir Lord Baltimora (Myonga Vön Bontee), Wednesday, 22 April 2015 00:00 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

I loved The Lure (aka Córki Dancingu). Shame it took a couple of years to make it over here, but what a crazy horror/pop musical/fairytale/coming-of-age parable! Amazing that's a first-time director and a woman to boot.

Nhex, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 09:44 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

I wish

The Fearless Thread Killers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 September 2019 18:05 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

I've seen two or three exceedingly ugly-looking films recently, so the visual beauty of EO was very welcome. The fragmented story of EO's travels lost me at a couple of points, but, expecting the worst, I liked the non-ending. It's been at least 25 years since I saw Au Hasard Balthazar, so I don't know how they compare. EO would pair up well with Andrea Arnold's Cow from earlier this year, which didn't seem to get much attention (I did see it on one of the year-end lists posted).

The only other Skolimowski film I've seen is Deep End. Just started reading the BFI book on Rosemary's Baby, and it mentions him working on the script for Knife in the Water with Polanski in 1959. Amazing that he'd still be directing in 2022.

clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2022 23:42 (eight months ago) link

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's so weird that Armond White feels like he has to haul EO into his never-ending crusade.

The inordinate critical praise for EO after it won a Cannes festival prize reveals film culture’s current desperation. As prestige films flop and theater chains close, some reviewers, nostalgic for the heroic age of moviegoing, pretend that EO is art.

This delusion only makes sense as the degraded expression of the Biden age.

And it goes on from there. An 84-year-old Polish director makes a film about a donkey, and that somehow connects up to "the Biden age."

clemenza, Friday, 30 December 2022 02:32 (eight months ago) link

Having given this some thought, the donkey is the symbol for the Democratic Party, and both Skolimowski and Biden are in their 80s. So not only is White correct in seeing a connection, he may in fact have uncovered a conspiracy.

clemenza, Friday, 30 December 2022 15:22 (eight months ago) link

three of skolimowski’s movies are appearing on criterion channel soon, including deep end and the shout

i’ve wanted to see deep end for ages so i’m really excited

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 30 December 2022 15:25 (eight months ago) link

I liked Deep End. I thought I posted about it here, but must have been another thread...a Cat Stevens thread maybe?

clemenza, Friday, 30 December 2022 15:28 (eight months ago) link

His Polish films Barrier and Hands Up! are great, ominous but deadpan surreal/absurdist dramas. Don't go out of your way to see his action film The Lightship though.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 30 December 2022 15:31 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

Skolimowski season on at the BFI.

Saw "Barrier" last night, which was stunning but incomprehensible.

"Deep End" tonight. I saw this film on BBC2 when I was like 14, must have been the first time I heard Can! Anyway, what a singularly odd film. As the person I was with said, it has elements of Benny Hill or Carry On about it which, with the dubbing and the slightly stilted dialogue and acting, add to the weird feel of this film.

Maggot Bairn (Tom D.), Sunday, 2 April 2023 20:03 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

Ryszard Bugajski's powerful and controversial INTERROGATION is OUT TODAY!! Complete and uncut from a new 2K restoration; a 2005 interview with the late director; 40-page booklet. World premiere, region-free Blu-ray. https://t.co/lwg1ft7omB@AmazonUK https://t.co/ji0Ql2oMM9 pic.twitter.com/9F13CazY01

— Second Run (@SecondRunDVD) September 18, 2023

xyzzzz__, Monday, 18 September 2023 11:39 (six days ago) link

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