Rewers (Borys Lankosz, 2009)

Sunday September 29th 2019, Reverse / Rewers (Borys Lankosz, 2009). 90 minutes, in Polsih with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

Darkly satirical comedy, it took 60 years for Poles to be able to laugh about Stalin. This film was a cult hit in Poland. A new wave of young directors is shaking up the sometimes staid and moralistic universe of Polish cinema.
This film is set in Warsaw in the 1950s, with a few flash-forwards to present-day Warsaw. The main character is Sabina, a quiet, shy woman who has just turned thirty, and lives with her mother and ailing grandmother. Sabina lacks a man in her life, and her mother tries hard to find a husband for her. The grandmother, an eccentric lady with a sharp tongue from whom no secret can be concealed, also gets involved. Successive admirers arrive at their small, but tasteful apartment in an antebellum house, but Sabina shows no interest in any of them.
One night, appearing out of nowhere, comes the charming, intelligent, and good-looking Bronislaw. Bronislaw is apparently interested in Sabina, and courts her, and Sabina falls hopelessly in love with him. But when Bronislaw reveals that he is a member of the secret police, and wants Sabina to spy on her boss at the state-run publishing house, things go from bad to worse to macabre. Sabina, her mother and her grandmother are fortunately up to the challenge, revealing a darker side to their otherwise affable personalities.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Dom zły (Wojciech Smarzowski, 2009)

Sunday July 12th 2015, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Dom zły (The Dark House, directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, 2009, 106 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Free admission. Door opens at 20:00, Film starts at 21:00.

This is one of the most renowned and popular films from contemporary Poland, and its director is recognized as one of the country’s leading independent artists. The story of this devastating little drama follows an investigation into the murder of a family on a farm in 1978, but the real meaning of the film lies elsewhere in the background. As the police investigation unfolds, the movie becomes an exposé… a dark journey into communist Poland’s past. As the lead character Lieutenant Mróz tries to deduce who the murderer is, he soon discovers that the authorities have absolutely no interest in solving the crime. He’s looking for the truth, and he is told “there is no such thing.”

This is an inventive, but harsh and confronting film that explores the depths of the human soul. Its been described as “An atmospheric Polish horror film set in the communist era.” Like I said, in Poland this riveting and moody gem was a hit… but everywhere else it wasn’t even given a chance outside festivals. […Lees verder]

Movie night: Knife in the Water

Sunday July 20th 2014. Knife in the Water by Roman Polansky, 1962. 94 minutes, in Polish with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.

Roman Polanski’s first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters’ emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman’s attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression. This remarkable directorial debut won Polanski worldwide acclaim, a place on the cover of Time, and his first Oscar nomination.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Movie night: Night Train (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1959)

Sunday June 22th 2014, Night Train (Pociag). Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1959, 99 minutes, in Polish with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.

Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Night Train begun like a classic Hitchcockian mystery thriller; but, by the time it got over, the tone and theme had subtly shifted towards human drama and even trenchant social critique – and therein lay the charm of this engaging but largely under-watched Polish film.

This is a more amorphous and ambiguous tale than other contemporary films of the Polish School, and Night Train seems to lack the direct references to recent history and the contemporary political situation of the Poland of the 1950s that are a hallmark of the style. However, the Hitchcockian atmosphere, the unimaginably tight shots and the overall sense of claustrophobia and dread evoke the sense of disappointment following in the wake of 1956 and the end of the Polish Spring. All of Kawalerowicz’s films deal with individual fate in a society being crushed by overwhelming external forces, whether war or politics, in an attempt to examine moral choice under pressure. Night Train is no exception, only here he has created an allegory of misfits among a society of passengers, a society that is predictable, suspicious of individuality, and eager to punish. All of Poland escaping though the night to the end of the line. Ironically, the film may represent in its way the end of the Polish School as well. […Lees verder]