6.3/10
798
4 user 9 critic

Pornografia (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 17 October 2003 (Poland)
Two intellectuals, a writer and a director, begin to play a mysterious psychological game in a peaceful countryside manor house during the Nazi occupation.

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11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Fryderyk
... Witold
... Hipolit
... Maria, Hipolit's Wife
... Waclaw Paszkowski
... Siemian
... Amelia, Waclaw's Mother
... Henia
Anna Baniowska ... Servant Weronika
Kazimierz Mazur ... Karol
Jan Urbanski ... Skuziak, Amelia's Killer
... Sitting Room Landlady
Henryk Niebudek ... German Soldier Hans
... German Soldier
Jerzy Chojnowski ... Gustaw
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Storyline

Witold narrates a story. In Warsaw, in 1943, he meets the cultivated Fryderyk at a salon and they become friends. He takes Fryderyk with him to the country estate of Hipolit, Maria, and Henia, their teen daughter. Hipolit aids local resistance fighters. Fryderyk embarks on a game to engineer the cuckolding of Waclaw, Henia's fiancé, by Karol, a youth in the household who's Henia's long-time friend. War intrudes on the country idyll when a murder happens during dinner at the estate and when the local guerrilla commander seems to lose his grip. Rumors that the war may end soon don't halt deadly turns. What is Fryderyk's nature, and what has shaped it? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

17 October 2003 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Pornografija  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

PLN 9,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Spielberg should sue
9 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

What on earth could have possessed the NY Film Festival selection committee to inflict this pretentious, boring, derivative, ugly and silly piece of third-rate filmmaking on its audience? Because it's Polish and we haven't had a lot of worthwhile Polish movies since Kieslowski? Has it come to that?

The film takes Witold Gombrowicz's long-winded but intermittently fascinating classic novel and superimposes a gratuitous (and fatuous) Spielbergesque holocaust plot line, to make it all, I guess, more compelling. The effect is glaringly contrived and (as with the far better Spielberg original) offensively trivializing.

In case anyone misses the point, the holocaust plot overlay involves a doomed little girl and, at the dénouement, a shift to a black-and-white background against which is displayed, in color, a talismanic link to her. Sound familiar? Spielberg should sue.

The sad thing is that there is some talent at work here. Though the plot is gratuitously confusing, meandering, and contrived, the use of a country house around which a low-intensity conflict between Germans and Polish partisans swirls obliquely is effective, with the fighting intruding suddenly into and then just as suddenly vanishing from the playing out of the protagonists' humdrum idleness and self-absorption. Grayzna Blecka-Kolska gives a performance that almost transcends the clichés written into her role as the quietly tipsy châtelaine, and the two young people who are the objects of the middle-aged protagonists' dirty-old-man obsessions (Gombrowicz's central plot line, if no longer Kolski's) look as if they might have been far more effectively used in some other movie, one in which they were given something to do beyond standing around and looking beautiful (which they are, it should be said). But on the whole, this is an over-the-top, pretentious dud, the sort of thing that should be seen only by the paid critics who then have a professional obligation and civic duty to spare all the rest of us such an irritating waste of our time.


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