Jerzy Skolimowski

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mikeohhh
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#26 Post by mikeohhh » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:23 am

Oh Yeah*, what Can songs from Soundtracks are in Deep End?

*(best song on Tago Mago???)

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Ingeri
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Re: Deep End by Jerzy Skolimowski

#27 Post by Ingeri » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:31 am

MichaelB wrote:
Ingeri wrote:The only one of Skolimowski's significant films to remain locked away in relative obscurity.
If only that were true - unless you know of a source of Skolimowski DVDs that I don't?
You're right actually, I got a little carried away trying to make a point. Certainly not the only significant, neglected, Skolimowski film.
mikeohhh wrote:I would put good money on Deep End coming from Criterion.....This is pure speculation on my behalf, but I have a feeling about this one.
They could issue Barrier, and cram Deep End in there as a special feature, or vice versa. Like they did with Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation. Or like Milestone did with Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep and My Brother's Wedding. I guess the world is their (Criterion's) oyster, plenty of treasure out there.....

Here's a compelling 1967 NY Times review of Skolimowski's Barrier by Bosley Crowther I found, after it screened at the '67 New York Film Festival. Enjoy.....(note the way he assumes Skolimowski's future place in film history, as he "puts him into the same category as Jean-Luc Godard").
David Ehrenstein wrote:It's "just a total lack of interest in the Polish/Czech New Wave?"
SEPT. 27th, 1967 NY TIMES REVIEW by Bosley Crowther

HAVING already contributed to the New York Film Festival a conventional New Wave comedy, "Le Départ," Jerzy Skolimowski, the young Polish director, was represented last night by a film that, in more ways than one, puts him into the same category as Jean-Luc Godard, who is also a festival favorite.

Mr. Skolimowski's "Barrier" is a bright, sardonic fantasy that is not only much more indigenously Polish than "Le Départ," but, like Godard's work, is also a provocative personal statement that conforms to no predigested ideologies. Reffish and irreverent, "Barrier" has the exuberance of a youthful work, executed with technical facility and control more often associated with the work of an old pro than with that of a youngster.

It is not a particularly easy film. However, its bizarre juxtaposition of commonplace and fantastic incidents to give them surreal importance is so much a part of the film's point of view that seldom do its obscurities seem annoyingly arbitrary. Quite simply, it's fun to watch.

Spiritually, "Barrier" is a continuation of "Identification Marks: None" and "Walkover," Mr. Skolimowski's tales of alienated youth in a socialist society that were shown at the third New York Film Festival.

In "Barrier," his youthful protagonist, a restless medical student ("I sold myself to the state for a scholarship," he announces glumly but not without humor) lives in a Warsaw that is most often a dreamlike extension of a banal reality.

In the course of one day, he meets and falls in love with a pretty girl and, in the process, has Fellini-like visions of his position in what has been planned as a perfect society. Unlike Mr. Fellini's visions, which generally are pretty plush and consciously decadent, Mr. Skolimowski's are made up of slight variations on ordinary people and places and events. "Holy Week," says the man in the bloodmobile eerily, "is the time to sell blood."

The performers are attractive, but almost anonymous, even Jan Nowicki, who plays the young man, and Joanna Szczerbic (Mrs. Skolimowski), who plays the girl. Mr. Skolimowski's camera is more interested in total images than in pictures of individual people. The result is a work of original cinema composition that also has certain timely political and social interest.

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#28 Post by David Ehrenstein » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:53 am

The rarest of all is Adventures of Gerard -- a spectacular starring John Moulder-Brown, Jack Hawkins and Claudia Cardinale, based on an Arthur Conan Doyle story. He billed himself as "Yurek Skolimoswki" for this film and declared it was made by his "twin brother."

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MichaelB
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#29 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:19 am

Well, here's a very pleasant surprise, and no mistake.

A copy has been ordered forthwith, but I'm really not too fussed about transfer quality - seeing these films at all will be enough of a bonus, and they appear to have English subtitles.

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shirobamba
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#30 Post by shirobamba » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:51 am

MichaelB wrote:Well, here's a very pleasant surprise, and no mistake.
Oh wow!!! That was about time! Now I can put to rest my French TV captures from God-knows-when.
Thanks a ton Michael for this info. Rushing to order...

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zedz
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#31 Post by zedz » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:15 pm

Oh bugger, and I've just done a Merlin order. Great find, Michael.

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MichaelB
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#32 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:22 pm

zedz wrote:Oh bugger, and I've just done a Merlin order. Great find, Michael.
I was doing a Merlin order myself - I just thought I'd have a scroll through their entire Polish cinema section to see if anything interesting had crept out in the months since I last ordered from them, and bingo! But before this afternoon I had absolutely no idea that such a thing was even on the cards, let alone actually released.

(I also ordered the Agnieszka Holland box, the second Polish Film School box, and of course the latest PWA documentary set).

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Cold Bishop
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#33 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:22 pm

Am I to assume that...
Napisy: angielskie
...means english subtitles?

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MichaelB
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#34 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:25 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:Am I to assume that...
Napisy: angielskie
...means english subtitles?
That's exactly what it means.

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david hare
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#35 Post by david hare » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:16 pm

Terrific pickup Michael!

How much is a Zlotyl worth these days?? And if you don't object I'll give this a heads up at Dave Kehr's blog. The set deserves wide distribution.

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posto
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#36 Post by posto » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:00 pm

davidhare wrote:Terrific pickup Michael!

How much is a Zlotyl worth these days?? And if you don't object I'll give this a heads up at Dave Kehr's blog. The set deserves wide distribution.
91.99 PLN = 38.0627 USD
I'm getting this set for sure.

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zedz
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#37 Post by zedz » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:59 pm

If anybody's ordering the Skolimowski set, for heaven's sake consider adding a couple of PWA titles: they're world-class and cheap as chips.

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Cronenfly
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#38 Post by Cronenfly » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:15 am

posto wrote:
davidhare wrote:Terrific pickup Michael!

How much is a Zlotyl worth these days?? And if you don't object I'll give this a heads up at Dave Kehr's blog. The set deserves wide distribution.
91.99 PLN = 38.0627 USD
I'm getting this set for sure.
No reviews of the set are kicking around as of now, right?

If someone who's ordering it could report on the quality of the transfers (I'm with Michael in that I want to see the films regardless of transfer quality, but it would still be nice to know if they're utter shit or not before pulling the trigger)/confirm English subtitles (in case the listing is wrong) once they receive it, I'd greatly appreciate it...

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MichaelB
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#39 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:47 am

Well, SPI International Polska is one of the more reputable labels in that part of the world, and they've gone to the trouble of adding English subtitles, so I suspect they'll be far from unwatchable.

They probably won't be amazing either, given the age of the films and Poland's less than stellar track record in film preservation, but the price is absurdly low so it's hardly a major gamble.

(Talking of which, I absolutely second Zedz' recommendation - everyone ordering anything from Poland should also buy a PWA set on spec. See PWA's dedicated thread for more details, though pretty much anything they've put out is worth buying.)

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david hare
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#40 Post by david hare » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:19 am

Michael or Zedz can you offer a few tips for logon registration at least from the page requesting name and address! Glenn Kenny, and I are currently adrift at this stage of the linguistic soup.

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MichaelB
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#41 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:27 pm

Does this page help?

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david hare
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#42 Post by david hare » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:50 pm

Glenn Kenny and I thank you!

charal
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#43 Post by charal » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:42 pm

I still have my versions of WALKOVER & BARRIER taped from SBS TV in the 90s. . I say to anyone who hasn't seen these early Skolimowski films that you must not hesitate to get them. They are quite remarkable. Skolimowski is a master at choreographed setups. In WALKOVER there is a train sequence which culminates with Skolimowski stepping off of a moving train which, despite it slowing down, looks pretty dangerous to me. It looks good on film though. BARRIER is an eastern Euro view of the 60s revolution. It is both symbolic and poetic. The music is brilliant.

The trilogy featuring the director - a boxer - is RYSOPSIS, WALKOVER & HANDS UP! Is the last film on this set? I'd love to see this as it was banned outright at the time and is considered to be quite brilliant by those who have seen it.

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david hare
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#44 Post by david hare » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:07 am

I remember those screenings! Did you know Bruce Hodsdon (who now runs the Brisbane FF) brought beautiful 16mm prints of these three into oz during the early seventies for the old SU Film Group - they now reside - virtually unseen - in the National Sound and Film Archive in Melbourne. I wish the people down there could do something with their rights/legal staff and do even limited DVD releases of some of their stuff - they have a 35 fine grain of Zangiku Monogatari, a 35 IB of French Can Can and - even - a 35m Scope IB of the 154 minute Star is Born, among thousands of other things.

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MichaelB
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#45 Post by MichaelB » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:10 am

charal wrote:The trilogy featuring the director - a boxer - is RYSOPSIS, WALKOVER & HANDS UP! Is the last film on this set? I'd love to see this as it was banned outright at the time and is considered to be quite brilliant by those who have seen it.
Yes - the four films in the box are those three plus Barrier. Basically, it's Skolimowski's purely Polish output in its entirety.

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posto
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#46 Post by posto » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:01 pm

charal wrote: The trilogy featuring the director - a boxer - is RYSOPSIS, WALKOVER & HANDS UP! Is the last film on this set? I'd love to see this as it was banned outright at the time and is considered to be quite brilliant by those who have seen it.
Correct, "Hands up" was the only movie which was outright banned in Poland and not shown until 1981. In 1981 Skolimowski shot the prologue with, among others, Alan Bates & Volker Schlondorff, which, according to this site was not included when the movie was finally released in Poland in 1985. I wonder if the version on this set includes this prologue. ("Hands up" is the only movie from this set I haven't seen yet.)
I recall that his earlier movies were screened in smaller theaters in 70's and 80's in Poland. I saw "Barrier" 30 years ago in Kraków and it left a lasting impression on me. I haven't seen any of his polish movies since.

BTW here is Skolimowski pagefrom filmpolski.pl (sort of polish IMDb). It is in polish only, but it is pretty exhaustive database on anybody and anything to do with polish film.

Perkins Cobb
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#47 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:26 pm

Re: Hands Up!, it's not just a prolog (although Bates & Schlondorff do appear only briefly at the beginning). The finished version includes extensive interstitial material from the later (1981?) shoot. It's basically unwatchable in my opinion, although it was the 1967 stuff (an attempt at Beckett-style absurdism) that I found especially tedious. In any case, it's very different from the New Wave-influenced style of Skolimowski's earlier films earlier films.

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Cronenfly
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Re: Jerzy Skolimowski

#48 Post by Cronenfly » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:01 pm

Could anyone comment on the quality of the SPI Skolimowski set at this point? I had almost forgotten about the set, but in ordering the Network DVD of The Shout I was reminded of it. I figure at least a few people have received the set by this point, and I'd appreciate any/all feedback before I take the plunge.

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MichaelB
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Re: Jerzy Skolimowski

#49 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:40 pm

Cronenfly wrote:Could anyone comment on the quality of the SPI Skolimowski set at this point? I had almost forgotten about the set, but in ordering the Network DVD of The Shout I was reminded of it. I figure at least a few people have received the set by this point, and I'd appreciate any/all feedback before I take the plunge.
I have it on reasonably good authority that there may be alternatives to at least some of the films in this set released separately at some point this year - so unless you're desperate, it might be a good idea to wait.

(Even if better masters can't be found, I'd certainly expect the subtitles to be cleaned up considerably)

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menthymenthy
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Re: Jerzy Skolimowski

#50 Post by menthymenthy » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:52 pm

For Melbournians, Melbourne Cinematique are screening a bunch of Skolimowski films in July, 2009.

The ones screening are....

1. Rysopis
2. Walkover
3. Barrier
4. Deep End
5. Hand's Up
6. Moonlighting
7. Four Nights with Anna

and I think a few short films will be screened also.

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