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  Cycle index  
Snow White and Russian Red
dir. Xawery Żuławski / Poland 2009 / 108’
subtitles: English
New Polish Films Competition


Borys Szyc, Roma Gąsiorowska, Maria Strzelecka, Sonia Bohosiewicz, Dorota Masłowska

Film description

A multitude of difficulties awaited the one who would dare to adapt the famous novel by Dorota Masłowska. Xawery Żuławski managed to find a solution - he trusted the author. He was not intimidated by the spontaneity of language, vulgar, media-style and slang phrases or the multi-layer structure with no narration line to order the film's reality. He invited Masłowska herself to participate in the project, including the author in cascades of breathtaking images composed by him. Like a prompter, she prompts characters with lines, providing them with clumsy, crooked, unbridled sentences which combine somehow into fluent and fascinating speech. This is the actors' merit, but above all - the hard work of Żuławski, who made a formalist film, a rare trend in Poland. He neither played safe nor exaggerated, but created a perfect visual equivalent of Masłowska's ideas. The film is exciting, brilliantly edited, impressive, made with technical precision and open to diverse interpretation. You can find hundreds of contexts for its absurd, sneering message, but the strongest associations are with Gombrowicz. Silny - this part superbly performed by Borys Szyc - struggles with forms he is forced into and bangs his bald head against one after another of them. His struggle is in vain and endless.

Błażej Hrapkowicz

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