Robin Ashenden reviews ‘Bloody East Europeans’ by Uilleam Blacker and Molodyi Teatr

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In Warwickshire a year ago, a fish-farmer was reported in the newspapers as putting a sign up by the side of his lake: ‘No Eastern Europeans.’ Attacks on Polish immigrants, the Guardian tells us today, have risen tenfold since 2004, and in May Nigel Farage felt at liberty, in an interview, to say that he…

Robin Ashenden | 11/06/2014
sun in a net hands

Esther Harper reviews Štefan Uher’s ‘The Sun in a Net’ (1962)

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Stefan Uher’s 1962 ‘The Sun in a Net’ (Slkno v sieti) shines an important light on a national cinema which is often overlooked. Slovak cinema finds itself dwarfed and overshadowed by the Czech variety, the geographical and historical proximity of the two countries often making it difficult for Slovak cinema to distinguish its own identity.…

Esther Harper | 07/06/2014
illumination bw picture

Krysztof Zanussi’s ‘Illumination’ (1972) reviewed by Stephen Mason

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Illumination follows the story of a young student physicist named Franciszek Retman (Stanislaw Latallo) as he struggles to find his place in the world. Coming of age in the 1960s, Franciszek is an intelligent young man whose career as a physicist looks bright. However this is put on hold early on when his girlfriend, Malgorzata (Malgorzata Pritulak),…

Stephen Mason | 31/05/2014
Jerzy Radziwiłowicz as Mateusz Birkut

KINOTEKA: Robin Ashenden reviews Andrzej Wajda’s ‘Man of Marble’.

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Legends surround Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble, made in 1976 and now issued restored by Second Run DVD. Of how its subject matter – of a Stakhanovite worker during the Stalinist reconstruction of Poland after the war who is elevated by the system, then discarded, then hounded by it – was so controversial it took…

Robin Ashenden | 21/05/2014
Hrushevskyi Street by Amakuha

‘Maidan: Voices from the Uprising’. Molly Flynn interviews Natalya Vorozhbit about her new documentary theatre piece

Natalya Vorozhbit is Ukraine’s leading playwright and co-author of ‘Maidan: Voices from the Uprising’, a verbatim play about the recent political protests in Ukraine. Verbatim is a documentary playwriting technique that theatre artists across the globe use as a way of responding to current events and giving voice to otherwise marginalized members of their societies.…

Molly Flynn | 19/05/2014
Walerian Borowczyk

KINOTEKA – Walerian Borowczyk: The Listening Eye by Lidia Meras

Can a talented artist wipe out his credit because of ‘wrong’ creative choices? Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk is certainly not the first author to lose the attention of the specialized press, but there aren’t many cases in which an art house film director falls to the level of a mere pornographer. Acclaimed during the late sixties and seventies by cinéphiles (see, for instance, the February 1969 issue of prestigious French journal Cahiers du cinéma),Borowczyk made Emmanuelle 5 (1987) and other ‘S’ rated movies of dubious quality on his descent. Although he always claimed a sincere interest in representing sexuality, film critics looked with disdain on his…

Lidia Meras | 19/05/2014
july rain prints

Eugenia Ellanskaya reviews Marlen Khutsiev’s ‘July Rain’ at Pushkin House

July Rain (1966) captures the ambiguous existential crisis of young Lena during the Soviet thaw: that strange, doomed period of liberalisation following Stalin’s death. After a brief rainy encounter with stranger Zhenya, Lena is left with his rainproof coat. Rather than return it as she planned, she finds herself escaping reality with Zhenya’s spontaneous phone…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 17/05/2014
ticket to the moon airmen

KINOTEKA: Stephen Mason reviews Jacek Bromski’s ‘One Way Ticket to the Moon’

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   One Way Ticket to the Moon (2013) is set during the NASA moon landings of 1969 and follows the events of a young Pole named Adam Sikora (Filip Plawiak) as he receives his Navy conscription orders. Adam is apprehensive about spending the next 3 years of his life in the Navy as it becomes clear…

Stephen Mason | 15/05/2014