Borowczyk always strikes me as this soaring intellect; this almost alien intelligence, so delighted to be able to communicate with us humans through his movies. Deft & impressive as a magical old uncle. He evokes with ease & artistry & apparent omniscience & a big grinning helping of Dirty Old Man. To then use that to convey a mind/soul like Ljuba... Accompanied by Wagner? Clap hands for Uncle W. It's magnificent.
Only six minutes long yet there seems to be an awful lot packed in. Ljuba's painting is a lot less interesting than the process by which it is made and Borowcyk ably mounts the work, bestowing on it a quirky urgency. There's also a surprising amount of the atmosphere of the Paris of the day in there.
A 1978 film dedicated to the love of art and using Wagner's music to provide the dramatic component as we witness artist Popovic Ljuba in Paris. He is seen as one of the crowd in busy streets then at work building up an oil painting that is both classical and grotesque. An appearance of a beautiful woman suggests a further juxtaposition to the completed piece as it is presented and as the music climaxes.
Some inspired filmmaking but the paintings are too schticky and banal to bear any weight. That the film didn't collapse is a true marvel. The close-ups of the painter's body were meatlike, visceral, non-human, creepy, spooky, snail-y, caterpillar-y and were great underlining of/counterpoint to the sexist "visions" on canvas. Some true surrealism inspired by ersatz surrealism.