A violinist in a provincial Polish orchestra, whose husband is the director of the ensemble, on a visit to the US ties up with the world- renowned symphony conductor. As it turns out he was... See full summary »
Set in the late '20s. A thirtyish young man, who heads a small factory, faints at the funeral of a close friend. He decides to go home to his aunt and uncle for a while, but gets involved ... See full summary »
The story of a well-known artistic family: legendary painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, his wife Zofia and their son Tomasz, a highly-praised music critic and translator. Their lives were far from being usual.
Jan P. Matuszynski
Volpone, an elderly Venetian, connives with his money-crazed servant to convince his greedy friends that he is dying, knowing that each will try to curry favor with him in order to be named... See full summary »
Jacques de Baroncelli
In small-town Poland in the late 1950s, an aging woman married to a workaholic doctor meets a young man who makes her feel young again. Framed around this story, lead actress Krystyna Janda discusses the death of her husband from cancer.
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Erich von Stroheim,
The retired dentist Caroline attends a class for computer users. Although she is married, she falls in love with her significantly younger lecturer. It turns out he used to visit her ... See full summary »
The great Polish director Andrzej Wajda returns with this passionate biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (brilliantly played by Polish superstar Boguslaw Linda), who battled Stalinist orthodoxy and his own physical impairments to advance his progressive ideas about art.
The Polish film Powidoki was released in the United States with the translated title Afterimage (2016). It was directed by the late Andrzej Wajda. (Wadja lived long enough to see the film completed, but he died before it was released.) I think that it's more than a coincidence that Wajda chose as his final film the story of a great artist who died without ever losing his dedication to art.
The avant-garde Polish artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski was highly regarded in art circles all over the world. However, when Poland was dominated by the Soviet Union, he was forced out of his teaching post. Ultimately, he could not find work, and his lack of funds caused him to die in poverty from tuberculosis in 1952.
This is a hard film to watch. We see Strzeminski forced from his role as professor, forced to separate from his students, and forced out of the artist's guild. He's told that in Communist Poland, only those who work get to eat. The problem is that the government won't let him work, so basically he is sentenced to death, although he was never charged with a crime.
Boguslaw Linda portrays Strzeminski, and his acting is superb. He's an experienced Polish actor, who has worked with Wadja before. A movie like this will stand or fall on the merits of the star. Linda makes us believe in the character. We see him continually making choices. He himself sees no choices--he lives for his art and he dies for it.
We watched this movie in Rochester's wonderful Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum. It will work well on the small screen. Afterimage was shown at the Grand Opening of part two the outstanding 2017 Rochester Polish Film Festival.
Earlier this year, the Dryden screened A Generation. That was Wajda's first film, and this was his last. What an opportunity to follow the development of a talented director from the beginning to the end of his career.
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