The first feature film by acclaimed Polish animator Mariusz Wilczynsk completed over an 11-year production period. There is a lot of stories and emotions connected to the making of this project. The journey surely was not an easy ride for the polish animator who lost his long-time friend and music collaborator Tadeusz Nalepa during the process.
Briefly to the plot, I would say it as a mixture of dreams and memories of Wilczynski's upbringing in the industrial town of Lodz in the 60's and 70s during the dehumanization of life under Communist Poland. The filmmaker himself is part of the play and appears as an obese nude giant and recalls his parents and the socio-political situation in the communist Poland. The story places us in the disturbed head of our protagonist and we see his surreal version of the timeline and slowly descending into madness. From the very first frames, a surreal delirium of suggestions and the symbolic predominates over the laws of rationality. The narrative is reflected visually and metaphorically, and it succeeds in creating such disturbing experience with the scribbly style has an aesthetic at its best. Even the morbid images of human pet, ugly streets, the autopsy, bloody beaked birds, junk sea and the ship contain a right balance and it is not overdone just for the gore quotient. In addition, the music is staged for the surreal effect, stands on its own and manages to set the right accents. Also, I was surprised to see the voice for the old man in the train with the newspaper was done by late Andrzej Wajda.
Final thoughts, the film is a nightmare that gets under your skin visually and plays deep into the consciousness. I would say the film clearly owes a debt to David Lynch and this is not to criticise or say that I didn't love the experience. I did and it was a Lynchian, sometimes it reminded me of demo tapes album art from 90s grindcore bands, a little of Ujichaa, little of David Shrigley or Roland Topor, and some Bill Plympton vibes all mixed into one that in several places is close to the grotesque and beautiful. To the fans who possess a love for surrealism and adore the aforementioned artists, check it out I highly recommend that you do so.
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