Filip buys an 8mm 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 when he is ... See full summary »
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Harry Dean Stanton,
Filip buys an 8mm 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 when he is sent to regional film festivals with his first works but his focus on movie making also leads to domestic strife and philosophical dilemmas. Written by
Ah for the love of film In 2006, I was one internet flight ticket transaction click away from moving to the area of Poland for the duration, but didn't. The "good" reason being is that I suffered some seriously grave trepidation over the fact that I would need to have two months salary in the bank before I'd EVER raise enough capital to buy an 8 mm motion picture camera. And this was in 2006. Sadly, these hypertensive concerns about finances low, all sleepless nights over equipment I don't have, and from where in the heck is the next camera going to come turned out to be relative in the scope of things in a sick and cyclical sense- and after interfacing with the characters of Kyrstof Kieslowski's incredibly moving Humanist Dark-Dramity, Camera Buff, for an hour and half, I'm just now harboring more than a few serious regrets about not actually abandoning the competitive, spiraling nightmare that is Western Life when I had the chance.
Camera Buff is a wonderful story about a factory worker Filip (Jerzy Stuhr); a man who, in his thirties, begins to see life anew through the view finder of a small gauge movie camera. Originally purchased for "two months salary," which "pissed his wife off" to document his newborn daughter's first few steps, the 8 mm camera is quickly realized as something more useful than just a device for making home-movies. The narrative's tension is organized specifically around the reaction to the films of the institutional power structures and forces around Filip that essentially commissioned, financed, and instigated the films themselves along with Filip's newly discovered and unyielding passion for creating them as he sees fit.
If you view the Kino Video DVD release of this film, perhaps even more profoundly affecting than the feature as an augury of hope for the human race is the sixteen minute black and white documentary entitled Talking Heads in which Kielowski conducts helter-skleter a multitude of fifteen second interviews about "who you are" and "what you want" with Polish citizens, age zero to one-hundred, across all walks of life starting at the year 1979 with a little gurgling baby. In all, it's wonderful material and has me seeking out more Kieslowski.
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