Saturday, August 13, 2011
|8:25 p.m.||Hands Up!|
Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland, 1967/1981)
(Rece do góry). Completed in 1967 but immediately banned and suppressed by the Polish government, the legendary Hands Up! was finally released in 1981 after a brief thaw in censorship. Skolimowski himself added a prologue, shot in war-torn Lebanon and protest-ridden England, to the original footage to link the present and the past; we move almost seamlessly from the ruins of Beirut to a man lying on a London street, his face covered in newspaper, and from there to the first scene of the original film, where another man dances on a stage, his face wrapped in paper, lost in a squawk of free jazz, shouted poetry, and smashing light bulbs. The opening’s raw, unsettled energy proves only the loudest, not the worst, of the film’s attack on politeness, conformity, and society. What follows, a remembered tale of fake conspiracies, interrogators, and boxcars to nowhere, is a triumph of absurdist theater and embittered allegory, rich with surrealism—and everyday reality.
• Written by Skolimowski, Andrzej Kostenko. Photographed by Witold Sobocinski, Kostenko. With Skolimowski, Bogumil Kobiela, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Joana Szczerbic. (76 mins, In English & Polish with English subtitles, Color/B&W, 35mm, From Polish Cultural Institute)