A man who doesn’t seem too bright buys an axe with a suspicious attitude, burns a human limb on a stove, sees a dead cow float by while he’s out fishing, and finally returns home, where he feeds a bedridden old lady. Thus begins Jerzy Skolimowski’s latest feature, and the astounding thing is that none of these extraordinary situations we see are more shocking than the film’s sound treatment. After 16 years without directing, a period in which he could be seen as an actor in films such as Mars Attacks (Tim Burton, 1996) and Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007), one of the most versatile graduates of the Lodz film school shoots the misadventures of a mentally handicapped in a hostile and desolate landscape, not only geographical but also social. Like his compatriot Kieslowski did in A Short Film About Love, Skolimowski uses voyeurism as the only loving form of violation to tell a tale that tends to move away from realism without ever abandoning it completely. But everything which, in that film, was prone to parable, here it ends up being a nightmare. Even the most minimum gap of faith has been bricked up. –BAFICI
Jerzy Skolimowski (born May 5, 1938) is a Polish film director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor. A graduate of the prestigious Polish Film School in Łódź, Skolimowski has directed more than twenty films since his 1960 début Oko wykol (The Menacing Eye). He lived in Los Angeles where he painted in a figurative, expressionist mode and acted occasionally in films. More recently, he began dividing his time between the US and Poland and returned to film making as a writer and director after a 17 year hiatus with Four Nights With Anna (Cztery noce z Anna) in 2008.
The Jerzy Skolimowski retrospective currently touring the United States is re-introducing American audiences to one of the most free-spirited