Tag Archives: polish

Salto / Jump (1965) Tadeusz Konwicki, Zbigniew Cybulski, Jerzy Block, Marta Lipinska, Drama

salto-1965
A man hops off a train by the small town where he claims he was before. His presence allows to bring out the inner feelings and beliefs of the inhabitants. A man who has hidden through all of the war because he looked Jewish, even if he is not, took on a fame of a dead Jewish actor he resembles. The visitor’s wife shows up to claim his and indicate that he is always running off. He escapes in the end for another town.

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Czlowiek z zelaza / Man of Iron (1981) Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania, Drama, History

czlowiek-z-zelaza-aka-man-of-iron-1981
A worker becomes a “man of iron” forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. In Warsaw in 1980, the Party sends Winkel, a weak, alcoholic TV hack, to Gdansk to dig up dirt on the shipyard strikers, particularly on Maciek Tomczyk, an articulate worker whose father was killed in the December 1970 protests. Posing as sympathetic, Winkel interviews people who know Tomczyk, including his detained wife, Agnieszka. Their narrations become flashbacks using actual news footage of 1968 and 1970 protests and of the later birth of free unions and Solidarity.

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Aktorzy prowincjonalni / Provincial Actors (1979) Agnieszka Holland, Halina Labonarska, Tadeusz Huk, Iwona Biernacka, Comedy, Drama

aktorzy-prowincjonalni-aka-provincial-actors-1979
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.

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Faraon (1966) Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jerzy Zelnik, Wieslawa Mazurkiewicz, Barbara Brylska, Drama, Historical

faraon-1966
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.

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Umarla klasa / Dead Class (1977) Andrzej Wajda, Tadeusz Kantor, Maria Kantor, Zofia Kalinska, Documentary, Drama

Umarla klasa (1977)
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.

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