Monday, 29 October 2012

Secret (2012)

Brace yourselves. It's an art movie. A Polish art movie.

At a glance:
Agnieszka Podsiadlik.
She has small areolae.
Entered myself via Cinema Clock to watch this movie at the Ekran Toronto Polish Film Festival 2012, now in its fourth edition. Sekret a.k.a. Secret (2012) is more of "an experimental novel than a conventional film" (as conceded by director Przemysław Wojcieszek himself), about the awkward relationships between three people: devil-may-care drag dancer Ksawery (Tomasz Tyndyk) and his apparent agent Karolina (Agnieszka Podsiadlik) who both visit grandpa Jan (Marek Kępiński) in the countryside. The titular secret refers to a Holocaust misdeed kept by septuagenarian Jan, concernin the disappearance of a Jewish father and son who used to own the very house they now live in. Karolina, bein Jewish, has an axe to grind and she goes to great lengths to force a confession out of Jan while Ksawery has to come to terms with the only person who matters to him bein a war criminal.
Bad news on the doorstep:
As usual, my wife and I are the only ones in the audience under 60 and didn't live through at least one World War. Even so, and despite the short run time of 82 minute, I saw several seniors who decided there were better ways to spend a Saturday night and just upped and left. In all fairness, the film is coherent and accessible (if you'd pardon its intentional ambiguity) but Tyndyk's incendiary gay character is a little too much for some, I believe. Krzysztof Prętkiewicz's jungle D & B score can get quite frightenin as well. I wonder how the audience liked it at the Berlinale 2012 where it premiered?
Frightening, really.
Perennial wonderment:
The film's strongest scene I believe is the one involvin a rant by Jan on the porch, which is the closest he'll ever come to a confession. The movie asks, if at all, about the anachronistic nature of war crimes and what restorative good may come from the overreachin long arm of the law. Jan looks like he's about the drop dead any time he's processin those sardines of his, never mind war crime tribunals or nosy young girls like Karolina. Yet, the question is turned inward when we see Jan prayin for his quick demise every night before bed. The perp lives with the crime, too. "Does digging up the past help one understand the reasons behind his actions? And is the sense of justice – or of revenge – always well-meant?"
Reminds me of:
Lukas Moodysson. Wonder what he's been up to.
Most memorable line:
I liked the bit where Jan summarised the state of affairs by alludin to a sports commentary on the radio. "Traitors" is the word.
"You are so insolent. Get out."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Well, who are we to level any charges of self-indulgence when it comes to art movies, eh? Wojcieszek kept it short at 82 minutes and I wouldn't count it as a tough sit among the many tryin movies I've seen. For a more refined account of just what the fuck this really is, do read East European Film Buletin's Collete de Castro. Me, I'm just happy my wife and I had us some Polish bruschetta-type pastries called zapiekanki, together with some Solidarność Polish fudge that a volunteer assured us are "not from Alberta". It's a great night out, our first full feature at The Revue on its 100th anniversary year and also another first with the zapiekanka. Cheers, mate.★★1/2
Bonus material:
Zapiekanki! Hmmm... how come mine didn't have the ketchup?

Source: Dynamo Karuzela

L-R: Director Przemysław Wojcieszek, actress Agnieszka Podsiadlik
and actor Tomasz Tyndyk.