Pawel and Lidka are from different worlds but they somehow meet each other in a night club. He's a young lad from a wealthy family, she's an attractive dancer. They fall in love and go out of town but their happiness doesn't last long.
An actress travels from Warsaw to Paris and during the trip reflects on the last few years of her life. It goes back to the German occupation and her hiding of a fellow actor who has ... See full summary »
One day in the life of an alcohol addict. With the help of his girlfriend Krysia, Kuba attempts to regain control of his life. But when she's at work, Kuba is home alone, and it becomes hard not to resist the temptation.
Set in the 19th century Warsaw. The indolence of aristocrats who, secure with their pensions, are too lazy to undertake new business risks, frustrates Wokulski. His ability to make money is... See full summary »
A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes ... See full summary »
In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest route through the Sierra Morena. At an inn, the Venta Quemada, he sups with two Islamic princesses. They call him their cousin and seduce him; he wakes beside corpses under a gallows. He meets a hermit priest and a goatherd; each tells his story; he wakes again by the gallows. He's rescued from the Inquisition, meets a cabalist and hears more stories within stories, usually of love. He returns to Venta Quemada, the women await with astonishing news.Written by
Don Pedro Velasquez:
We are like blind men lost in the streets of a big city. The streets lead to a goal, but we often return to the same places to get to where we want to be. I can see a few little streets here which, as it is now, are going nowhere. New combinations have to be arranged, then the whole will be clear, because one man cannot invent something that another cannot solve.
Alfonse Van Worden:
I no longer follow.
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Originally released in a cut version in the US, the film was restored to it's original 182-minutes running time and premiered at the New York Film Festival in September 1997. The restoration project, supervised by Edith Kramer, was initially sponsored by Grateful Dead's leader Jerry Garcia and later completed by Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. The restored version includes a dedication to Jerry Garcia. See more »
The comments on this film seem evenly distributed between favor and disfavor. At this date, I can't understand why anyone would not like it, but that's me. I first saw it in 1967, while I was in college. I loved it, and went so far as to locate and purchase the book(s) from which it was adapted. And that was before the internet, and Amazon, and Bookfinder. One of the books I didn't manage to get until I got to London. Reading it, I was amazed to realize that the film actually includes remnants of every story in the book(s): when, for example, Alphonso opens a door to find a bewigged scholar interrupted while declaiming "...Then the first skeleton tore out his own arm-bone and began hitting me with it..."-the whole story is there in the book, i.e., what the skeletons were doing there in the first place. The books, Manuscript Found At Saragossa and the New Decameron, are rightly considered Literary Treasures of Poland, along the lines of Notre-Dame á Paris in France, War and Peace in Russia, or Moby-Dick here. It's about stories and storytelling.
By the end of the film, to say the least, the viewer has been presented with a convincing picture of sixteenth-century Europe from different angles, and it's safe to say that no other film, before or since, in color or Black-and-white, has done it better.
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