sabato 29 aprile 2017

Pod mocnym aniolem (The Mighty Angel) - Wojciech Smarzowski

già il grande Wojciech Has, con Petla, aveva messo al centro un uomo alcolista come pochi, Wojciech Smarzowski fa lo stesso, in un film che fa soffrire come pochi altri film, senza scorciatoie e sorrisi.
Robert Wieckiewicz, attore bravissimo (come tutti, d'altronde), già Walesa nel film di Andrzej Wajda, è il protagonista del film, intellettuale di successo col vizio del bere.
sta in un ospedale per alcolizzati, e di ciascuno dei colleghi d'ospedale conosceremo la storia.
di Wojciech Smarzowski non si sa praticamente niente in Italia, come del cinema polacco, uno dei più vivi d'Europa.
meno male che c'è internet (e i sottotitoli, sempre siano lodati quei pazzi che li fanno).
cercate questo film, soffrirete, ma ne vale la pena.
Wojciech Smarzowski fa Cinema, segnatevi il nome, se vi volete bene.
buone visioni - Ismaele

The films from Polish filmmaker Wojciech Smarzowski are always interesting to follow, no matter what theme he chooses – whether the dark crime thriller of “The Dark House”, the humorous drama of “The Wedding”, the coldness of war in “Rose”, or the severe accusations of corruption and power abuse made by Polish police in “Traffic Department” – each of them had something valuable to say in its harshness and objective rawness. “Pod Mocnym Aniolem” (translated “The Mighty Angel”) is another powerful drama focused on alcoholism and based on Jerzy Pilch’s successful fourth novel with the same title. The film follows Jerzy (Robert Wieckiewicz), an intelligent and talented writer who can’t keep off from the bottles of vodka, even doing frequent treatments in a rehabilitation house and attending group sessions. Evincing a corrosive sense of humor, his denial takes him to a cynicism and to a spiral of degradation that not even the woman of his life is capable to bear. He wanders and writes in a sort of limbo state where reality and imagination interweave. We are taken through the stories told by other alcoholics, but also to Jerzy’s memories of his drunken father. Horrible images haunt us, depicting embarrassing situations, deliriums, vomiting, and crazy hangovers. It’s a sad film, about suffering, about loss, about fate… Its finale is simply devastating, even cruel. I was touched in two ways – one given the last hope sought by Jerzy, and the other through the creepy loneliness that can ruin everything again. Although with a slow-burning start, “Pod Mocnym Aniolem” won me over.

The Mighty Angel is not an extended sermon, it’s far more subtle and human than that. Director Wojtek Smarzowski has a keen eye for detail, for the subtle shifts in tone that mark human conversations when the subjects are trying to resist cynicism and cling to hope and compassion. This is alcoholism set within the much broader and more complex issue of heavy social drinking, which is a problem many are unwilling to discuss, not just in Europe, but in countries around the world.
The Mighty Angel is also a visually impressive film. Hand-held GoPro (point of view) shots and closed circuit video feeds are mixed with more conventional cinematic techniques to create a shifting range of perspectives. The timeline of the film often shifts, so we are often not sure at what point in the story we are, or whether the conversation is real, imagined, or reconstrucated from the drunk’s fragmented memories.
The Mighty Angel is a stark, harrowing and thoroughly intelligent look at both alcoholism and the all-pervasive place of alcohol in society. Brilliantly directed and anchored by a remarkable lead performance, The Mighty Angel is essential viewing – highly recommended.

Polish cinephiles await Wojtek Smarzowski’s every film as impatiently as cinephiles in the USA wait for, let’s say, Quentin Tarantino’s pictures. Smarzowski is now a trademark of Polish quality cinema that can proudly be exported. He is an auteur. Surprisingly enough, after his latest success with Traffic Department (2013), his newest film The Mighty Angel (2014), an adaptation of a Jerzy Pilch novel, has been met with cold indifference and at times strong revulsion. But while Smarzowski’s newest production is yet another brilliant (yes, brilliant) piece of cinema, the reasons why it is criticised shed some light both on society’s attitude towards alcoholism and on the way in which we idealize the role of director in the collective art of filmmaking.
Between Wojciech Jerzy Has’ The Noose (1957) and The Mighty Angel, there was no remarkable film produced in Poland that tackled alcoholism in a comprehensive way. Smarzowski in his trademark sensory way reveals the worst about the disease: numerous alcoholics flood each scene with rivers of cheap spirits, vomit, urine and desperation. Rare glimpses of “normal life” – where love triumphs and people are pretty and kind – are continuously overpowered by the dark ugliness of poor living conditions and the even poorer shape of human morale. Despite being a famous writer who supposedly finds the love of his life, protagonist Jerzy is repeatedly hospitalised due to excessive drinking. Each of Jerzy’s detoxifying visits is yet another visit that should – one day – cure him completely. Certainly, refined aesthetes will shy away from almost every scene exposing the interiors of alcoholics’ stomachs. And that seems to be the problem…

I just watched this move today. Like all movies directed by Smarzowski this is not Hollywood-like story. A story about real problem in our life - alcohol. If you ever get wasted, if you ever had hangover and if you ever had black out or hunger for drinking another shot - you would not be satisfied after watching it. It is not a romantic story about drinking problems like "When a Man Loves a Woman". It is funny at first but then you realize that you might behave the same when you drunk - then it's not funny any more. No-one laughed at the end of this movie. My wife even wanted to leave cinema without watching it till the end. But don't get me wrong- it's a great movie. It's comparable to "Requiem For A Dream" but without such great music. That's why I gave it a nine.

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