5.8/10
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3 user 3 critic

Mammals (1962)

Ssaki (original title)

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"Waiting for Godot" on ice and snow, without words. Against a barren winter landscape, a figure approaches: it's a man, pulling a small sleigh on which another man sits, plucking a dead ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(scenario) (as Andrzej Kondriatiuk), (scenario)
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Henryk Kluba
Michal Zolnierkiewicz
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Storyline

"Waiting for Godot" on ice and snow, without words. Against a barren winter landscape, a figure approaches: it's a man, pulling a small sleigh on which another man sits, plucking a dead bird. They stop to trade places; the one now on the sleigh takes out his knitting. Accidents, misunderstandings, disagreements, and an outright fight await our absurd protagonists as their trip to nowhere continues, first with one pulling, then the other. What if they were to lose the sleigh? What rules of civilization and partnership would guide them then? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Mammals  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

This was the last of Roman Polanski's short films before he began work on his first feature, Knife In The Water. It received awards at Oberhausen and Melbourne. See more »

Connections

Featured in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All about mammals
1 May 2008 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

After Two Men and a Wardrobe and The Fat and the Lean, this is third of Polanski's early short features to take on the style of a silent comedy. Ssaki (Mammals) actually goes as far in mimicking the look by recreating the flicker of silent films. However, while Two Men and a Wardrobe was at least mildly entertaining, and Fat and Lean was genuinely funny, Mammals is the least effective of the trio.

Setting the film in a field of snow, Polanski has a completely pure white space for the action to take place in. This frees the image of any background clutter and encourages us to focus solely on the two protagonists and their half dozen or so props. The white background also allows for a rather clever sight gag in which one of the men makes himself disappear by wrapping himself from head to foot in bandages.

Apart from that one little moment there is really very little to hold the viewer. There is presumably some kind of metaphor going on, but if the film isn't entertaining, there seems no point in looking for it.


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