Censored by the Polish authorities, this film was reedited and new footage added. It begins with a sci-fi motif: abstract images and electronic music take the viewer from ruins of Lebanon ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Andrzej Leszczyc, Zastawa
Joanna Szczerbic ...
Alfa
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Opel Record
Adam Hanuszkiewicz ...
Romeo
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Wartburg
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Wikto
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Herself
Karol Kulik
Michael Sarne ...
(as Mike Sarne)
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Censored by the Polish authorities, this film was reedited and new footage added. It begins with a sci-fi motif: abstract images and electronic music take the viewer from ruins of Lebanon to the set of Voelker Schloendorf "The Forgery" where Skolimowski plays a lead role. Another shift takes us to London, where Skolimowski shoots a street scene. There are also shifts into the past with the old footage, featuring a score of Polish actors in a setting resembling Kantor's experimental theatre. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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21 January 1985 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Hands Up!  »

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User Reviews

Jerzy reworks a censored film, with weak results
15 August 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

As a long-time Jerzy Skolimowski fan I was sorely disappointed with HANDS UP!, the 1981 "reimagining" of his 1967 banned movie of the same title. Way too personal, the resulting mish-mash is of interest perhaps only to Jerzy's biographer.

Starring both in the original film and the dominant 1981 added footage, Jerzy comes off as Orson Welles on steroids, but with far less interesting results than one of Welles' latter-day "meta-films", notably F FOR FAKE. We're told that Jerzy suddenly was phoned (circa 1980) with news that his too-hot-to-handle in 1967 RECA DO GORY was finally permitted a release by the Polish authorities, as a result of the revolution fomented by Solidarity. Footage of Jerzy & buddies marching in London in support of the movement back home is included.

But the added footage is all in-jokes and cronyism, as Jerzy's latter-day jet set of filmmakers, ranging from his current employer Volker Schlondorff for CIRCLE OF DECEIT and co-star from that film Bruno Ganz to Alan Bates from his '70s classic THE SHOUT, and even forgotten British bad boy Mike Sarne (still revered by cultists but who went from hot (JOANNA) to not (MYRA BRECKINRIDGE) in record time). Their horsing around on screen goes nowhere.

Ultimately Jerzy, who's obviously had second thoughts about showing his dated 1967 opus to the public so many years later, reverts to presenting several scenes from the original, tinted from black and white to some quasi-color look. What we get is absurdist drama from a talented troupe of improvisers, including not only Jerzy but Tadeusz Lomnicki, play-acting in a purported railroad car set, meant to symbolize both Holocaust and Stalinist deportation horrors of the '40s and '50s.

Naturally his visuals are dramatic and abstract (with uncannily suggestive use of candles in the frame), but what might have been a da da-ist Blast! in 1967 to arouse or enrage the viewer is now mere derriere-garde rubbish.

Jerzy clearly should have permitted viewing (film festivals perhaps the beginning and end of distribution for such a relic) of the intact original, and not potchkied with it , destroying any residual value. Yes, HANDS UP! is merely a forerunner of the endless parade of "director's cuts" and "reimaginings" that dominate our Video Era remnants of cinema. I shudder to think what a future generation will be subjected to when ultimately Welles' THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND or Jerry Lewis' ill-fated THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED finally see the light of day in much-adulterated form.


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