In a barren landscape of ice and snow, two men and a sleigh are on an absurd voyage. This was the last of Roman Polanski’s short films before he began work on his first feature, Knife In The Water. It received awards at Oberhausen and Melbourne.
The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow… read more
Charming slapstick comedy against a beautiful snowy backdrop. It features probably the greatest score Krzysztof Komeda ever wrote for any Polanski short film, following each action and reaction of the two men who are trying to reach some point, equipped only with one sled and lots of selfishness.