Athens International Film Festival

    Archive : 20th AIFF 2014

  • Andrzej Zulawski: In Extremis

    "It's not like in the movies or in books, where everything is precise, thought-out, organized, with a clear-cut goal. Everything's chaos, chance, pain, disorder."

    The above quote, taken from "Mad Love", encompasses Andrzej Zulawski's cinematic universe and personal philosophy with surprising aptitude. Yet, through his radically disorganized version of reality, under the seemingly chaotic structure of his movies, hides a robust visual edifice, an absurdity constructed with surgical precision that captures the essence of the human condition more faithfully than sterile realism ever would.

    Possibly because no other filmmaker has ever put his directorial virtuosity and every available film medium at the service of expressing emotions: raw, unconditional, domineering, self-destructive emotions. Passion, love, despair, jealousy, they're all captured on celluloid with manic energy and operatic grandeur, balancing between a rare visceral quality and overkill.

    Lost souls on the cusp of the abyss, his heroes struggle with their imperfections, defy social conventions, clash with the system and battle their own passions and desires, just like he did. And the camera, like a living, breathing being, follows them into a vertiginous a free fall with no safety net.

    A highly idiosyncratic case in the loins of world cinema, the unconventional Polish auteur walked the line between mainstream, art house and Avant-garde and never stopped breaking boundaries.

    His filmography largely defies classification, despite the fact he probably tried his hand at every genre known to man - melodrama, horror film, science fiction, political allegory, gangster drama, period film and literary adaptations - transforming each and every one of them into something uniquely his own. Above and beyond cult, miles away from convention, his movies are a sui generis no-man's-land that can only be described in one world: Zulawski-esque!

    Thanassis Patsavos

    Φιλμογραφία / Filmography

    2000 Fidelity
    1996 Szamanka
    1991 La Note Bleue
    1989 Boris Godounov
    1989 My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days
    1987 On the Silver Globe
    1985 L' Amour Braque
    1984 The Public Woman
    1981 Possession
    1975 That Most Important Thing: Love
    1972 The Devil 1971 The Third Part of the Night

  • The Third Part of the Night

    A man witnesses the murder of his wife and son by German soldiers, before making a narrow escape. He tries to join the Resistance but ends up hunted again and is forced to seek refuge in the house ...

  • The Devil

    Amidst the chaos of the Prussian invasion of Poland in 1793, a young nobleman with high morals escapes from prison with the help of a mysterious stranger, only to return to his once wealthy home ...

  • That Most Important Thing: Love

    A photographer falls in love with a has-been actress, now starring in cheap soft-core movies under the supervision of her depressive, film buff husband. In order to give her career a ...

  • Possession

    After experiencing a bitter breakup, Andrzej Zulawski decided to revive the story of a woman (Isabelle Adjani), who abandons her husband (Sam Neil) and her lover for a mysterious creature that ...

  • On the Silver Globe

    A group of cosmic explorers leaves Earth behind to find freedom and start a new civilization. When their spaceship crashes on an unknown planet and the original team dies, their children revert ...

  • The Public Woman

    An inexperienced young actress cast in the lead role of an ambitious adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed" is slowly pushed over the edge, both physically and mentally, by the ...

  • Mad Love

    "The film is inspired by Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" and intended as a homage to the great writer." These words mark the ending of "Mad Love", a film where Andrzej ...

  • Fidelity

    Drawing inspiration from Madame de La Fayette's "La Princesse de Clèves", Zulawski transports the action from 16th Century to modern-day France, conjuring up another emblematic ...