8.3/10
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36 user 37 critic

A Short Film About Love (1988)

Krótki film o milosci (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | 4 August 1995 (USA)
An innocent virgin spies on his frontal neighbor and falls in love with her, thus starts using tricks on her which he hopes will lead to them meeting.
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9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Grazyna Szapolowska ... Magda
Olaf Lubaszenko ... Tomek
Stefania Iwinska ... Godmother
Piotr Machalica ... Roman
Artur Barcis ... Young Man
Hanna Chojnacka Hanna Chojnacka ... Miroslawa (as M. Chojnacka)
Stanislaw Gawlik Stanislaw Gawlik ... Postman (as S. Gawlik)
Tomasz Gradowski Tomasz Gradowski ... (as T. Gradowski)
Rafal Imbro Rafal Imbro ... (as R. Imbro)
Jan Piechocinski ... (as J. Piechocinski)
Krzysztof Koperski Krzysztof Koperski ... Gasman in Magda's Apartment (as K. Koperski)
Jaroslawa Michalewska Jaroslawa Michalewska ... Post-Office Clerk (as J. Michalewska)
Malgorzata Rozniatowska ... Angry Postmaster (as M. Rozniatowska)
Emilia Ziólkowska Emilia Ziólkowska ... Old Woman at Post-Office (as E. Ziólkowska)
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Storyline

19-year-old Tomek whiles away his lonely life by spying on his opposite neighbour Magda through binoculars. She's an artist in her mid-thirties, and appears to have everything - not least a constant stream of men at her beck and call. But when the two finally meet, they discover that they have a lot more in common than appeared at first sight... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish | Portuguese

Release Date:

4 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Short Film About Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespol Filmowy "Tor" See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ending is different from the TV version. It was rewritten at the suggestion of lead actress Grazyna Szapolowska who wanted the film to have a "fairytale ending". See more »

Goofs

When Tomek goes out onto the roof above Magda's flat, his black eye and split lip are gone. They reappear when he goes back into the building. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Luftgitar (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most sensitive and powerful depictions of love ever committed to film.
18 September 1998 | by GJBMarshSee all my reviews

Unlike the other masterpiece in his Decalogue, Killing, in 'A Short Film About Love' Kieslowski treats the subject of love with an extraordinarily delicate, rather than a polemic, eye. As ever he manages to express more with subtlety than most directors ever will with expression: it is rather what is not said, what is not expressed, that leaves an indelible mark upon us.

Olaf Lubaszenko's central performance as the boy is, rather than 'opaque' as it has been termed, engrossing from the start. His innocence and fragility, just like the film's, are an invitation to the intimacy we progressively acquire. We, the film's audience, watch engrossed and exposed just as does he, and, in another sense, does the subject of his observations. His telescope becomes a direct motif; distance, separation, enlargement: all the things the filmmaker provides for the viewer. Thus, at emotional, intellectual and metacinematic levels the film explores its themes: observation and love.

While it may not come to solid conclusions (nor ought it to), the sensitivity with which the director watches his actors is utterly compelling. The resultant negotiation between man and women, subject and observer, viewer and filmmaker is a relationship, a love affair. Perhaps Barthes might have sought to go further, waiting for the end of the film, its 'death', to find psychological and sexual consummation to such an affair, and the film may support such a reading. Even a far less academic approach is sufficient, however, in order to enjoy the work at it appears at face value. We do not need to analyse in order to feel, and it is the film's emotional impact that remains when our brief voyeurism, our visit to the cinema, ends.


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