Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Silver Globe

Just watched The Silver Globe, Andrzej Żuławski's extraordinary sci-fi film... This was my second pass at Żuławski's film and it remains as incomprehensible as ever. And yet there is something exhilarating about yielding one's self to the film's strange and mysterious power - the metallic blue filtered wide angle photography, the aggressive camerawork, the jarring jump cuts and sudden tonal shifts, the baroque costumes and ritualized makeup, the spectacular locations and sets, and performances that are pitched at near hysteric levels. I think the film compares well with the 1967 Czech film Marketa Lazarová - both films steeped in seemingly impenetrable mysticism and existing in their own hermetically sealed worlds. The troubled history of the film adds yet another fascinating layer, the film is book-ended by Żuławski's own impassioned account of the cruel fate it suffered at the hands of the Polish State Cinema board. I don't know if Nicolas Winding Refn has ever acknowledged the film, but it seems to me that the director's 2009 film Valhalla Rising owes Żuławski's film a huge debt...

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