Here are links to my reviews of:
At Kinoteka 2016, I watched:
Set over one incident-packed month, from December 1981 to January 1982, four Polish workers enter the UK on a tourist visa ostensibly to buy a car. Led by Jeremy Irons' Nowak, the only bilingual, they are actually there to do up the lead's boss's London getaway pad. The work would cost the boss only 25% compared to the British equivalent. And so the political/economic hypocrisy is set up, as cycles of theft abound. The crushing of solidarity with a small "s" is writ large, then comes the steamrollering of the Polish Solidarity movement by the military. Tension, even while Nowak commits petty crimes, speaks to innate audience feelings for the downtrodden underdog.
A story within a story. Tim Curry turns up at a psychiatric institution staff-patient cricket match. Instead of playing, he keeps score while Alan Bates tells him about a stay with a countryside residing couple. The film oscillates between the bizarre, unsettling and silly. (Witness a young Jim Broadbent rubbing cow sh*t on himself.) John Hurt's experimental musician is a precursor to Émilie Dequenne in ECOUTE LE TEMPS and Toby Jones in BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO.
At only 73 minutes, this still feels long. An unsatisfyingly tedious experimental work started in the 1960s, banned, and then completed and released in the early 1980s, it has dated badly. Starting a bit THX 1138, a dystopian world is presented though jettisoned for five leads cavorting about expounding, one is guessing, subversive observations.
Youth disillusionment with the state. An odyssey meeting the haves and have nots. Block architecture shot in black and white is both historical and has a futuristic vibe. See also METROPOLIS. Skolimowski’s standout imagery is present - Sabre fight with a car, riding a suitcase down a dry ski slope – but is probably more for fans of experimental cinema.
Identification Marks: None
The bravura camerawork and energy of a talented young filmmaker. The lead, played by the director, stops studying and lets himself be called up for military service, to last two years. He doesn't tell his wife. His dog has rabies. Malaise permeates. In the hours before being deployed, he wanders the town. Even though it is Skolimowski’s feature debut he set-up his stall immediately with a nifty set-piece: Leaping on and off a moving tram (for more stylish than it sounds).