Jakub, a young lunatic imprisoned for conspiring against the king, is unexpectedly freed by a mysterious stranger. Together with an insane nun, Jakub sets out across a nightmarish snow-bound landscape teeming with senseless violence.
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Rewatch of a restored DCP. In some ways this is my favorite Zulawski? Allegory aside, it's easily his best-looking film in how it turns the natural landscape into an emotional one: the birch trees, the autumn leaves, the overcast sky, the mud, the brick, the filth, the blood, the ruins, the empty corridors, etc. all become a theater of jealousy, religiosity, madness. The final act is a masterpiece.
I feel this would this have made more of an impact if one had a working knowledge of Polish history. The performances were outright caricatures, maybe that was the point. I really wanted to love this, so disappointed.
This is Zulawski's materialisation of a theatre approach to cinema with great poetic touch to it. Plot is played out or not-played-out mostly via emotions and surreal visions, so I'm not surprised someone might get confused what's actually happening. It's one of his best movies though and fantastic example of his early work.
This is madness all over. Madness in the epileptic emotions of the actors, madness in the bleak, expressionist landscape – more than merely surrounding, madness in the feverish camera movements and the story’s restless ramble into fatalism giving you just as little room to breathe as the protagonists themselves have. I like being sucked into mad movies.
Quand Zulawski est dans l'excès, on se lasse au bout d'un moment de ces vociférations incessantes, de ces mouvements de caméra tous azimuts, de ces acteurs trop expressifs. Malgré tout, les apparitions de Pszoniak sont toujours justes et prenantes. Définitivement, Zulawski n'aurait jamais réalisé un documentaire sur la paisible vie de placides pandas ;-)