SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE
DIRECTOR:                JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI
ENGLAND/POLAND 1988
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    MIKE FASH
MUSIC:                       STANLEY MYERS, HANS ZIMMER
CAST:                          Michael York, Anouk Aimee, Michael Lyndon, Michel Piccoli, Joanna Szcerbic, John Hurt, Jane Asher
ONE WORD:               The cinematography


There was a time when Jerzy Skolimowski was an interesting director. In DEEP END, his work between the camera, Jane Asher and John Moulder Brown, set off a series of films that bordered on visual-ness aesthetics. They looked unusual, and the acting was sort of a theatre of the absurd, as lines sort of come and went, without the camera being on them.

Looking at this film, is the same director, with either a new theme, or perhaps, a look for a new theme outlook. The question is if this makes for a good film, or a confusing one. I think confusing.

It is, basically, the story of how the polish appeal has died in England/London, since the hip days of the late 60's when being polish, and knowing about the poles was in. And in this day, the child of the "revolution", Adam, is having problems adjusting to his social environment. He can not seem to acquire a girlfriend and gets laughed at. It leads him to doing things on the extreme side of things, like dressing strange, and doing strange things. But some of them, seem to be leading into some sort of artistic thing, if only the kid would stick with them. The father, is an artist with visions of grandeur, whose stock has dropped too much for him to be effective. His attempt at putting together a film, and event to celebrate the polish holidays, is a failure and sends his creditors further into their spin. The same is happening in Poland, and he knows it.

But the real treat in this film, is not the story, or the actors. Whereas before, the intimate camera and two actors ruled the environment we knew, this film is more detached... well, more life a "film", instead of an event. The personal touch is only available when the young kid is having his problems. The camera gets up close and stays with him. The rest is a bit distant, and as the father signifies, all thinking. Meaningless thinking that is not helping anyone's cause, specially his own.

This is not a bad film. With some rather nice music floating about (a trait that is almost always seen in a Skolimowski film), one gets the feeling that one is travelling around and finding new things. But the film, gets our curiosity with its well photographed stance, but does not deliver. Not even the actors, what with a wasted Jane Asher around. Anouk Aimee and Michael York as the parents are good, but probably suffer from lack of direction, and understanding of what might have been an un-written script.

3 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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