Filmed in 1976 and shelved for five years. A young man in his twenties leaves prison after a three-year sentence. He wants to start a new life in a place where he is not known and dreams ...
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Romek, an idealistc 19-year-old boy, takes a job as a tailor in the costume department of a Warsaw theater company where his new colleague, Sowa, is pressured to make a costume for an ... See full summary »
1970. After discussions and dishonest negotiations, a decision is taken as to where a large new chemical factory is to be built and Bednarz, an honest Party man, is put in charge of the ... See full summary »
It's 1982: Poland is under martial law, and Solidarity is banned. Ulla, a translator working on Orwell, suddenly loses her husband, Antek, an attorney. She is possessed by her grief, and ... See full summary »
After the doctor's refusal to perform abortion on a 17-year old girl, she and her boyfriend have to cope with the new situation. They both need to learn to take responsibility for their ... See full summary »
Filip buys an eight-millimetre movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen... See full summary »
The plot couldn't be simpler or its attack on capital punishment (and the act of killing in general) more direct - a senseless, violent, almost botched murder is followed by a cold, ... See full summary »
Filmed in 1976 and shelved for five years. A young man in his twenties leaves prison after a three-year sentence. He wants to start a new life in a place where he is not known and dreams only of a job, a wife and a family. He succeeds partially in fulfilling these dreams, but then runs into a conflict on a construction job between the corrupt boss and fellow workers secretly planning a strike. He becomes a pawn in one camp while remaining true to his ideals in the other. The unavoidable conflict destroys him. Written by
Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>
Was filmed, then shelved shortly after filming, in 1976. Then, was finally released in mid-Octobr, 1980, after the Gdansk Film Festivals of Polish Features in September, 1980, and followed by the Berlin Film Forum in February, 1981, in a badly mutilated, truncated version with key tie-ins, conversations and narrative links missing. The original is probably lost forever. See more »
For only his second feature film, 'The Calm' is really quite impressive. It is nowhere near among Kieslowski's best work, have much more of a preference of his later work, especially 'Dekalog' and his work after, but 'The Calm' is not deserving of the relative obscurity it has.
'The Calm' doesn't have an awful lot wrong with it, it's the sort of film that does almost everything correctly and with very good skill but it's also a case of Kieslowski's style and all his components (while present and correct here) became more refined later on. 'The Calm' does lack the intensity and emotional resonance of his later work, especially with the best 'Dekalog' stories, 'The Double Life of Veronique' and 'Three Colors: Red' and 'Blue'.
While the term "dated" is very rarely used by me (due to it often being overused and abused and often appearing on IMDb users' most hated words list) the film has suffered a little from being shelved for four years, the stylings, lifestyles, politics and attitudes may have appeared dated even in 1980 (feeling more mid-late-70s than early 80s) and while interesting to see one is reminded often as to how everything has changed and evolved over-time.
However, these nit-picks are not massive and much of 'The Calm' works very well. It is a good-looking film, as well as being beautifully shot with atmospheric use of colour to match the mood, it is gritty yet beautiful with many thoughtful and emotionally powerful images lingering long into the memory. Kieslowski's direction is quietly unobtrusive, intelligently paced and never too heavy. Very intriguing use of sound and silence, music is sparsely used but effectively intricate.
It's a thought-provoking film too, rarely rambling and makes what it has to say stick without being too heavy-handed, and while deliberately paced the story intrigues, engaging a good deal while also suitably challenging the viewer in spots. The themes are explored well, though there are thematically richer films from Kieslowski, and the characters (portrayed fairly bleakly but realistically) carry the story well. As ever, the complexity and nuances of the acting is to be admired.
Overall, interesting and very good early Kieslowski, though he did go on to better things later. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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