Krzysztof Zanussi’s groundbreaking film chronicles a decade in the life of a young physics student whose absolute faith in the primacy of rationality and science is shaken by tragedy and affairs of the heart.
Another of the Krzysztof Zanussi’s tales of the post-war generation of Poles struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives under Communism. The promise (and struggle) of both love and science define this brilliant film, winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard.
Jonathan Rosenbaum once likened the jump cuts in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless to “a needle skipping gaily across a record”; the editing of The Illumination evokes cold fingers rifling through a stack of research papers.
PC, rewatched. An intricate composition of images and sounds, materially consecutory, from theoretical concepts more on the geometric science of life than on a philosophy of life - life as matter and the life of matter. After so much fatigue in relation to recent films that demonstrate a total lack of sound's conception, mixing it with unbearable music, it feels good this eruptive conception of the sound.
"Illumination" is one of those films that needs to be seen more then once.On the surface,its the simple story of a man's life,but director Krzysztof Zanussi isn't interested in the straightforward account of a life.He blends fiction with documentary, to give us an existentialist view of a life,through the thoughts of a individual. A difficult, but intriguing film,that on occasions delves into the surreal.
"Zanussi is one of those authors who have known how to enrich dialogue with a religious, metaphysical, or scientific content, while still keeping it as the most everyday and trivial determination" (Deleuze, Cinema 2). This is a perfect description for Illumination and Zanussi's cinema in general that doesn't prioritise or hierarchise human experiences or science over spirit, but treats life as a mundane wonder.
An intense and well-written film on the concerns of a young man looking for a place in the world. Zanussi recounts a "particular" story but adds many levels through a rapid editing in which profound dialogues, conversations between scientists and even some dreamlike perspectives follow one another. In this way, it is as if we are able to enter directly into the protagonist's disquiet.