In reality, the comedy-drama can be read as a commentary on the contemporary Polish scene in politics and society. The story begins as a savvy director arrives in a small town to put on a stage play. His leading man is filled with insecurities and goes beyond the confines of his lead role to expand his part, restore his cut lines, and generally outdo himself while taking on some of everyone else’s job, including the director’s. No one wants to lose him because of his drawing power, and the director is caught in a bind. At the same time, the lead actor’s wife is slowly losing her chances at success, being relegated to a much lesser position in the troupe. This fine comedy won the Fipresci award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
Tag Archives: Poland
Faraon (1966) Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jerzy Zelnik, Wieslawa Mazurkiewicz, Barbara Brylska, Drama, Historical
The story, based on actual historic events, concerns an invented ruler Ramses XIII (Jerzy Zelnick) – actually there were 11 Ramses in the archaeological record – plunked into the drama experienced by Ramses XI. While still Crown Prince, handsome, athletically built Ramses yearns to stem the gradual decline of Egypt’s empire and to reform the miserable lives of the huge peasant and labouring classes. Young Ramses’ plans, abiding until his rapidly ailing, aged father Ramses XII’s (Andrej Girtler) death, greatly displease the powerful, numerous sacerdotal caste, particularly its most influential elder, an actual personage – the Sun God Amon-Ra’s high priest Herihor (Pietr Pawlowski), the real, long-term power behind the throne.
Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie / The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) Wojciech Has, Zbigniew Cybulski, Iga Cembrzynska, Elzbieta Czyzewska, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Europa Europa (1990) Agnieszka Holland, Solomon Perel, Marco Hofschneider, René Hofschneider, Drama, War
A Jewish boy separated from his family in the early days of WWII poses as a German orphan and is taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a ‘war hero’ and eventually becomes a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story.
Umarla klasa / Dead Class (1977) Andrzej Wajda, Tadeusz Kantor, Maria Kantor, Zofia Kalinska, Documentary, Drama
The Dead Class (1975), by Tadeusz Kantor and the Cricot 2 company, is considered one of the most innovative and influential works of twentieth-century theatre. The breakthrough first version of the production – performed to great critical acclaim, but only rarely seen live by audiences outside Poland – was documented on film in 1976 by the Oscar-winning director Andrzej Wajda.
Bariera / Barrier (1966) Jerzy Skolimowski, Joanna Szczerbic, Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Drama, Comedy
A rebellious student wants to get total independence and overcome all the barriers in his life: of money, age, status, cults and conventions. However, he meets a girl with completely different ideals.
Osobisty pamietnik grzesznika przez niego samego spisany / Memoirs of a Sinner (1986) Wojciech Has, Piotr Bajor, Maciej Kozlowski, Janusz Michalowski, Drama
35-year-old Michal (Wojciech Zielinski) has a beautiful wife, Anna (Joanna of Orleans) and daughter Justine. It does not bother him, however, fall in love with a sensual and rebellious Carolina (Carolina mustard). The man did not want a divorce, but it also wants to opt out of a new passion. The situation is complicated, however, when a lover makes him an ultimatum.
Já, Olga Hepnarová / I, Olga Hepnarová (2016) Petr Kazda, Tomás Weinreb, Michalina Olszanska, Martin Pechlát, Klára Melísková, Marika Soposká, Crime, Drama
My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty. Those were famous words of 22-year-old mass murder Olga Hepnarová, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague.
Ashes and Diamonds (1958) Andrzej Wajda, Zbigniew Cybulski, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski, Drama, War
Maciek, a young Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. Though killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier, and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders.