13 September 2012

Innocent Sorcerers DVD Review


is the first non-War film Andrzej Wajda did coming soon after his much-celebrated War Trilogy in the 1950s and the much lesser known Lotna (which is also a war film). It was a radical departure from his previous WW2 films, it was then contemporary film about young people in Warsaw.

The film tells the story of a young mod (in the original sense, young person who listens to Modern Jazz) called Andrzej (played by
Tadeusz Łomnicki) who is a physician who is a bit of playboy. He plays drums in a jazz band on the side. He is getting fed up of his film sexual successes. He meets a lovely young girl and they spend the night at his place talking, it has obvious sexual tension though out the night.  The film was supposedly more the brainchild of the screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski much more so they Wajda. It’s very much a part of the overall 60s new wave of cinema, every country pretty much had their own and Poland certainly had it’s with most famously Roman Polanski (who has a bit part), Wajda and others.

It’s a “room film” where 2 people talk for 84 minutes about life. It’s a perfectly good “room” film; I just wish something slightly more dramatic happends. They play a stripping game and have a very long mundane conversation over the night. The stripping scene is very played but the most exciting scenes are of Andrzej hanging around with his band mates and friends talking crap. You can understand why he enamoured with the girl but besides the brilliant tension of the stripping scene, it’s rather bland. The performances are good, it’s well shot but I kinda left me cold. It also features a small role from Zbigniew Cybulski who was the star of his film Ashes & Diamonds and was the Polish James Dean. I did like it but compared to something like the masterful aforementioned Ashes & Diamonds it’s much a lesser work. It’s an interesting film to watch it comparison to other countries’ attempt at doing a very similar thing but The French did it a lot better. It has been beautifully restored by Second Run, it’s available separately or part of the Polish Cinema Classics boxset.

Ian Schultz

DVD Re-Release date:10th September 2012(UK)
Directed by: Andrzej Wajda
Cast:Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska, Roman Polanski

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