Having now seen it, I'd say a guarded yes. Guarded because while I loved it, it's certainly not one for Skolimowski beginners. In fact, it ranks with the 1981 prologue of Hands Up! as just about the most personal film he's ever made: although he doesn't act in it, the central character (played by Michael York) is clearly based on him, his troubled teenage son is played by Skolimowski's real son (under the name Michael Lyndon), and the film revolves around numerous questions of nationality, nostalgia and exile that Skolimowski himself must have been thinking about for some time, especially after martial law was declared in Poland.
Of his two Anglo-Polish films, Moonlighting is a lot more accessible, but this one is more characteristically Skolimowskian: it's fizzing with ideas in a way that's strongly reminiscent of his great 1960s films (especially Barrier and Hands Up!). Which is presumably why it vanished from sight almost as soon as it was made - I had to rely on a VHS off-air recording from 1986.
Nice review, and I agree that it had a lot of similarities to Hands Up
. I went a head and bought the Greek DVD release. The film itself actually didn't do much for me, and I think it's probably my least favourite out of the 10 I've seen. I found it quite confused, though I probably need to give it another view.
As for the Greek DVD release:: it's by the distributor Artfree, and it's quite fine. The transfer is quite clear throughout, grain is minimal, and detail is normal. Greek subtitles are optional, and the only extra is a photo gallery.
It's presented in Full frame, and doesn't look like there's any cropping on the sides. If your DVD Player can crop the image, the film looks better cropped to 1.78:1, or whichever, then it does in 1.33:1. I'm guessing it was originally shown in theatres in 1:85.1 or the like, so that's the best way to watch it - I found.
It worked out to about AUD$30, so it really wasn't too bad, considering a VHS was being sold for not a lot less.
I particularly liked the way he gleefully latched onto the "Polish films only" brief (this was part of the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival) to dismiss his entire career between Hands Up! (1967) and Four Nights With Anna (2008) as "a load of dreadful films I made in the West". In fact, before we went on stage he asked me what I hadn't seen, and I said King Queen Knave ("worst film I ever made"), The Adventures of Gerard ("also terrible"), Torrents of Spring ("you clearly have excellent taste in avoiding my bad films"), though I rather let the side down after that by owning up to not seeing Le DÃ©part and The Lightship, both of which he still rates highly.
That would've been a great interview. Hmm, I am quite saddened that he didn't like Moonlighting
, since I absolutely *love* that one. It's in my Top 20 of all time, so I think very highly of it - it's the film that made me want to madly get to the rest of his filmography.
I have not seen The Lightship
, but that one has been released on DVD, and so I must get my hands on it.