i really enjoyed this even though i didn't understand what was happening all the time, it was visually very beautiful despite being entirely grey, i didn't find the main guy annoying in his moral righteousness, also i really liked all the empty shots they used to space stuff out, especially the one of the dumpster and the pigeons in the snow
Imbued with an unsettling humanism. In a criminal society the genuinely law-abiding citizen becomes a criminal. At first this seemed like the little brother to 'Iluminacja' but with time revealed itself as a moral work of Dostoevskian seriousness. Zanussi impresses me as the anti-Kundera, not least in his refusal to meet ideology with irony. Grazyna is the kind of person I tend to date, cynical w/ stubborn integrity.
I'm frightened that something might happen to you. That you'll change. Because anything else that might happen, is no more than fate. - Is that what one should fear? Fate? - No. That kind of fate is not worth fearing. It can be computed. It's a matter of probability calculus, statistics. What you can calculate ceases to be a mystery.
My first Zanussi. Although there are many things to enjoy here, I just can't be too excited about it. The film's existential questions are too closely associated with morals - corruption x idealism, fate x randomness. I don't question the film's honesty, and it feels remarkably genuine, but the bleakness of it all is just too fatalistic and heavy-handed. I also found the ending to be grandiose and ineffective.
Idealism vs corruption spelt out in heavy handed capital letters exposition, which actually makes the protagonist rather unlikable and annoying. Interesting as a period piece, but lacking in anything to comment upon stylistically, and not having much in terms of drama to get excited about.
Although I have only seen a few of his movies, this is my favourite from Krzysztof Zanussi so far. It shows a man trying to live a life removed of the daily temptations, deceits, and nastiness that seems to have become the norm around him. But will others leave him to his own devices, or does his rare morality make everyone too nervous? Excellent, interesting, and downbeat without feeling TOO grim (just).
The power in Zanussi’s films rises beneath the simplicity and ordinariness of his images. His films are often called ‘pessimistic’ because they confront the human condition with absolute honesty. His characters face the uncompromising pull of the pure ideal while existing in a world filled with suffering, compromise and death. Polish culture becomes a stage for the revelation of universal truths. One of his best.
To try to be sincere, to try to be honest, to try to attain the right moral code to live by, are all attempts waiting to be crushed by our greedy world. Our world we have to share with the ones we love and the ones we pity or despise. Humane and minimal directing. Full of compassion and insight into our nature.
Our leading man is a Dostoevsky's character. Bleak, frustrated, submitted to unfavorable circumstances. The film itself is an exercise on failing. There's a dying mother, a job with no future, a dream that is never fulfilled. All that comes wrapped in a greenish hue with monotonous settings. Some good dialogue make give it some sparkle. But I hope the day is sunny tomorrow.
If you were expecting some sort of reward for good behaviour, then this is not your movie. That's not the protagonist's reason. He can think of no other way to act. While there are similarities to Kieslowski's films, I happen to think that Zanussi's are less heavy handed.
A young man's ethics and sense of morality go up against 'the system' in this intelligent but pessimistic film from Zanussi. When corruption spreads across all facets of everyday life the morality of one man has little chance of making a difference. Jury winner at Cannes features strong scripting and solid performances especially from lead Tadeusz Bradecki.
An intelligent, nuanced and visually accomplished -as always from Zanussi- diatribe on human renunciation. The categorical and ascetic morality of the hero is shattered not by the inchoate musings of New Age gurus but by the self-imposed imperative to master fate through the temptations of an unlimited will. The metaphor of climbing turns into crucifixion in the tragic consequences of man's emulation of God. Superb!