EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HANDS UP! (RECE DO GORY) (director/writer: Jerzy Skolimowski; screenwriter: Andrzej Kostenko; cinematographers: Andrzej Kostenko/Witold Sobocinski; editor: Grazyna Jasinska; music: Józef Skrzek; cast: Jerzy Skolimowski (Andrzej Leszcyzc), Joanna Szczerbic (Alfa), Tadeusz Lomnicki (Opel Record), Adam Hanuszkiewicz (Romeo), Bogumil Kobiela (Wartburg); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; Film Polski-in PAL; 1981-Poland/France-in Polish with English subtitles)|
|"Though thought provoking
and raising worthy questions about the role of art
in world affairs, viewing it at this late date
didn't arouse much excitement for me."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski ("Identification Marks:
this surreal experimental film in 1967, but it wasn't
released until 14 years later by the censors. As
a result, Skolimowski went to live and work in other
after the film's release in 1981, Poland was under
martial law due to the Solidarity uprising.
It opens to a number
of surreal sketches: an artist being removed from a
deep freeze; Skolimowski playing ping-pong
with himself; the filmmaker working as an actor in the
German film Circle of Deceit (1981) by Schlöndorff,
which leads to a discussion about forgery and
questions cinema as unblemished art; shots of a
bombed-out Beirut ravaged by war (where the German
film was being shot), a visit to a London art gallery,
where Alan Bates
and Jane Asher unveil political murals in support of
those seeking freedom; and newsreel-like
shots of London protestors holding up signs that say
"Hands Off Polish Workers."
Skolimowski acts as one of five giddy doctors attending a medical school
reunion and who somehow wind-up in a sealed-up railway
carriage. They participate in a ritualized death
re-enactment, mocking Stalin. While still in their tuxedos, the alums are
caked with dust, playful, pretending to take speed and
go talky philosophizing over their disenchantment with
brand of communism and its ill-effects for them
personally and for the country.
The main part of the film was
completed in 1967. It was shot mostly in sepia, and to
make it appear like it was filmed in an experimental
theatre there's spaces filled with many flickering lit
candles. In 1981, Skolimowski returned to Poland to shoot new footage that
was used in the prologue of the re-released film.
Though thought provoking and raising worthy questions about the role of art in world affairs, viewing it at this late date didn't arouse much excitement for me.
REVIEWED ON 3/31/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ