2 items from 2011
Skolimowski at work, from the December 1968 issue of Films and Filming,
via chained and perfumed.
Jerzy Skolimowski's comeback as a director after a break of nearly two decades threw many for a loop. The year was 2008, the venue was Cannes and the film was Four Nights with Anna. "Wait, what is this, exactly?" asked Daniel Kasman here in The Notebook. The answer Patrick Z McGavin settled on: "a small but crucial movie," and Skolimowski would follow it up with Essential Killing, which provoked far more resolute reactions, both positive and negative, when it premiered last fall in Venice.
Last month, Deep End (1970) emerged from legal limbo and, restored, it's currently touring the UK and sees a release on DVD in July. Now the full-blown retrospective The Cinema of Jerzy Skolimowski is on at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York through July 3 and, in Los Angeles, Cinefamily »
At the 2010 Venice film festival, when Essential Killing won the special jury prize, its director Jerzy Skolimowski announced: "For those who like me – I'm back; and to those who don't like me – I'm back."
There's much of the man in that wry, pugnacious stance. But what does "back" mean for a Pole who will be 73 this May, and who took nearly 20 years out of a film-directing career to be a painter? How will "back" turn out for one of film's least compromising mavericks? As far as I can tell, Britain is only the second large market to give Essential Killing a release (after Poland) – with no takers in the Us. But a story about a Taliban fighter (Vincent Gallo) who kills Americans in the Afghan desert, is captured and tortured, then flown back to Europe and able to escape into the deep snow, will not compete easily with Adam Sandler. »
- David Thomson
2 items from 2011
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