|7:00 p.m.||Essential Killing|
Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary, 2010)
Skolimowski’s controversial 2010 film takes a conventional action-film plot—a solitary man on the run from a superior armed force—and strips it down to pure cinema, an elemental embrace of vision, sound, and movement where the essence of man and nature—and the terror of being hunted—is primary. Abducted as a terrorist and brought to some unnamed Eastern European country, a Guantanamo-orange-clad man (Vincent Gallo) manages to escape into the winter woods, where he embarks on a nightmare run through snow, cold, and terror. Recalling Skolimowski’s early Polish films in its embrace of movement and visual imagery (as well as Czech New Wave works like Nemec’s Diamonds of the Night), and carried by the phenomenal Gallo in what is elementally a one-man film, Essential Killing is less a commentary on the “war on terror” than a formal allegory of the very idea of fear, using sound and image to create a sense of pure being and of grand, overwhelming madness.
Essential Killing is repeated on Saturday, August 20.
• Written by Ewa Piaskowska, Skolimowski. Photographed by Adam Sikora. With Vincent Gallo, Emmanuelle Seigner, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Stig Frode Henriksen. (83 mins, Color, 35mm, From Polish Film Institute, permission Tribeca Enterprises)