15-year-old Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike... See full summary »
Karl Michael Vogler
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 »
Poland is under communist rule. An exiled Polish theater director is in England, enthusiastically preparing an abstract play which will criticize the authoritarian Polish government. His sons might not share his political views, though.
Bored while officiating a cricket match at a psychiatric hospital, Crossley tells Graves (a visitor) the tale of a mysterious stranger (also named Crossley) who invades the lives and home of a local musician and his wife. The stranger claims knowledge of real magic, which he uses to displace his host and dominate his wife. The musician must find a way to combat Crossley and his seemingly implacable powers. Graves doubts Crossley's claim that the story is true, and begins to believe that Crossley is actually one of the patients. Written by
Producer Jeremy Thomas once said of this film: "Because I had a great director, and a quality piece of literature I managed to get a wonderful cast such as John Hurt and Alan Bates. Skolimowski had a sense of shooting style then, this was the second director who I had worked closely with, and it was fascinating watching Skolimowski work. He came from a Polish tradition, the Wajda Film School, he had a different background to other directors I had been working with in the cutting rooms or elsewhere. And it made the film much more creative to me. I saw it more as an artistic endeavour by him. The film went to Cannes and won the Grand Prix de Jury. We were incredibly lucky and the film was appreciated by the jury. It was a very small festival then, nothing like the Cannes Film Festival of today, it was a small event in a cinema of 800 people or so." See more »
And I really do mean 9/10. This film is a superbly made, wonderfully acted, deliberately under-stated fantasy masterpiece. The sense of conviction, of the truth being portrayed even when the paranormal erupts into the world, is unnerving. Yes, the film as a whole is unapologetically high-brow, full of cultural allusions that many will miss (The dry psychoanalytic cracks, the Francis Bacon-inspired compositions, the inversion of Orpheus), but all that can happily be missed without in any way detracting from the film. For those who love metaphysics, the incredible thrill of the possibility of magic, this should not be missed. (The current DVD release, MOST Regrettably, has been sub-optimally re-mixed. However, for those new to the film, it shouldn't matter too much. For those who have, turn that shout up loud!!!)
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