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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Walkover’ (Skolimowski, 1965) reviewed by Judith Fagelson

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Jerzy Skolimowski’s alter-ego, Andrzej Leszczyc, makes his second appearance in the 1965 film Walkover. Brooding and directionless, he arrives in a nondescript industrial city where he runs into Teresa Karczewska, an old friend from university, now an engineer working on the construction of a new power plant. On the eve of his 30th birthday, Andrzej…

Judith Fagelson | 28/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Pawlikowski Documentaries Part 1’, reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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Nobody in Russia knows how Pushkin died, but everyone knows how to purify French polish for drinking. This aperçu from a Russian alcoholic sets the tone for Moscow to Pietushki, the recent Oscar winner Pawel Pawlikowski’s 1991 documentary about the writer Venedict  Yerofeev, made for the BBC. Yerofeev’s book of the same name, written in the…

Robin Ashenden | 19/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘To Kill This Love’ (Morgenstern, 1972) reviewed by Colin Swatridge

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To Kill This Love was made in 1972 by Janusz Morgenstern. Janusz Głowaska, who wrote the script, sought to show ‘very different kinds of love – beautiful, funny, pathetic, resigned’. The first of these loves, perhaps the ‘funny’ one, is between a warehouse janitor and a stray dog. Shots of the man enticing the dog…

Colin Swatridge | 19/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘The Hourglass Sanatorium’ (Has, 1973) reviewed by Julia Secklehner

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Wojciech Jerzy Has’s The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) is dreamlike and confusing. It starts with a young man, Joseph, travelling to a sanatorium to visit his father. As the train passes through a desolate, cold landscape, eerie music and ghost-like apathetic passengers lingering in the compartment accompany Joseph’s journey. Their costumes and mysterious airs are theatrical,…

Julia Secklehner | 15/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: Andrzej Munk’s Eroica (1958) reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

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A 50s Polish war comedy? This summary and Andrzej Munk’s epic title Eroica could promise an hour-worth of quality nap time to those unfamiliar with Polish wit and good taste. Although Munk’s work is not a cinematographic gem like, say, the legendary works of Krzysztof Kieślowski or Andrzej Wajda  (the latter more apt to the…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 09/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Illumination’ (Zanussi, 1972) reviewed by Ollie Buxton

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An integral part of the creative collective known as the Cinema of Moral Anxiety –  including the likes of Roman Polanski and Agnieszka Holland –  Krzysztof Zanussi made his name in the 1970s and 80s with a series of unsettling, edgy, and touching films. His 1974 offering, Illumination (Iluminacja) comes to the big screen in London…

Oliver Buxton | 06/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Citizen’ (Stuhr, 2014) reviewed by Mark Crossey

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Famed father and son Jerzy and Maciej Stuhr collaborate – with Stuhr Senior as producer, scriptwriter and lead role – in this ironic commentary on Poland’s postwar experience and the ambiguous role many, many people were forced to play in its realities. Both Stuhrs are highly accomplished actors and longtime big names in Poland. Jerzy’s…

Mark Crossey | 05/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Foreign Body’ (Zanussi, 2014) reviewed by Valenka Navea

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Trying to fathom Foreign Body is a bit like trying to unpick an intellectual and emotional rant. Director Krzysztof Zanussi’s highly ambitious morality tale attempts to explore the spiritually bereft corporate world via two star-crossed lovers, but fails in the process, as the sermon gets lost in too much convoluted detail.A shame, as the narrative includes…

Valenka Navea | 05/04/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Camouflage’ (Zanussi, 1977) reviewed by Judith Fagelson

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Set against the idyllic backdrop of a university summer camp in the Polish countryside, Krzysztof Zanussi’s 1977 film Camouflage shows a young teaching assistant, Jaroslaw Kruszynski (Piotra Garlicki) struggling to come to terms with the politics of Polish academia. As students vie for the top prize in a linguistics competition, debate bubbles between Jaroslaw and his…

Judith Fagelson | 05/04/2015