Sunday, May 21, 2017

Are you blind?

Recently, the polish cinematography has been changing in a good way. Normally, a man in the street had to choose between a silly, romantic comedy about some couples, who have obvious difficulties with communication or epic (martyrological) stories about the heroes of Poland. The producers pretended that the other genre do not exist or require a lot of money.

Fortunately, thanks to Smarzowski (unpleasant presentation of the polish mentality), Bagiński (prominent animation of our legends), Maria Sadowska (feminist and outstanding point of view), we could restore our faith in making polish movies. Nowadays, the most directors are discovering a new “genre” - the drama film.

Based on true story, “Carte blanche” by Lisiński is a simple story about a history teacher who, due to the genetic disease, is losing his ability to see. Firstly, his work is the only thing that gives a meaning to his dull life, so he doesn’t think that he could handle the situation without it. Secondly, he is not looking for a compassion, because he does not a victim type. Therefore, he has to keep the secret, although it seems to be almost impossible.

This film is a good source of inspiration about straggle with unpredictable problems. Undoubtedly, I don’t know what I would do or how I would behave if I knew that I would be blind. I can’t imagine a life without paper books and films. Moreover, a life without a possibility to appreciate view from the window. To quote a lyric of a polish band “Sztywny Pal Azji” : “I’m sorry to all blind people, that the world is so beautiful”. Likewise, you are no more independent - you have to depend on somebody. I wish that after watching that film, everybody would find some time to reflect about his wonderful life.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to talk about death

'Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?' Douglas Adams

Everyone will be dead. Someday. Normally, we do not focus on presence of the death in our lives. Everything is mortal: animals, trees, plants, people, etc, and there is no chance we could change it. The awareness of that fact is so overwhelming for a human being and therefore we invented a religion. A promise of a new, splendid life in a better world, where everybody is equal, is so seducing that most society claims to believe in God. 

Of course, everybody has a reason to believe, but basically it is the fact that we cannot cope with our solitude and meaningless in the world. Everyone wishes to be special, live a good life and have a hope to get a second chance. We would like to believe that everything makes sense, the death as well. The absurdity of existence is something unacceptable for us.

Meanwhile, there is no premise who will spend the autumn of his life with the beloved one and who will decease at the age of 20. The friend of Hemingway, and the archetype of character from “The Old Man and the Sea”, used to smoke a lot of cigars. Indeed, he died of lung cancer, but at the age of 103.

Maybe we should talk about the death without grandiloquence because there is nothing grandiloquent about it?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

French maid

Sometimes is good to get back to the classic. For example the classic french film which is shown as a typical “nouvelle vague” movie directed by Luis Buñuel.  Moreover, “Diary of a Chambermaid” is a symptom of cultural turn in a film.

Based on a Octave Mirbeau’s book tells a really simple story of a girl working as a chambermaid for a rich, bourgeois family. Lord thinks about all woman but her wife. For a Lady, the conventions are the only thing that matters.  Her father (a lord and a fetishist) loves women, but especially what symbolise a woman for him. And there is our main character who comes to the lovely countryside to unmask their weakness. 

In 1930’ the aristocratic people have power over the others. During other ages as well, but let’s focus on the inter-war period. There were not a social security, an unemployment benefit, some reduction of price for a big families or a paid leave. Most of society had to be really resourceful and accept their position with humidity. The servant could talk with others in the kitchen, in his liberty space, however he was not allowed to claim his personal opinion to employers. The division between the people was visible and socially acceptable. So basically, there were two zones which do not interfere with each other.  

Thanks to the social movement, it has become really popular, to give a voice to people devoid of it. That was a kind a of flagellation due to the remorse of a french society. The secular adaptation of catholic act of confession and penance.

And who will better represent of submissive servant who is not allowed to express opinion then a (sexy) french maid?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How nasty you could be as a film director in Arabia

The fanatisme begins when is no place for a simple discussion. When, because of tradition, you do not ask questions. You just accept the reality as it is and you try to deal with it. Undoubtedly, all young people are not like this. They are really curious, rebel and nothing is obvious for them (besides the love to parents). Sometimes is the lack of knowledge: why the sky is blue? Why can birds fly? etc Sometimes is lack of understanding for the fixed laws: why do we need to go to church? Why women are not let to drive a car in my country?

The muslim religion is based on Quran - religious text believed to be revelation from God.

The word of Allah is holy and the interpretation of text is perceived as fundamental for this religion.  Although every mosque could have different interpretation of the stories or precepts. What is more, most of the controversial rules are based on traditional law. Not on Quran. For example: wearing niqāb was connected with a) living on desert (it let avoid sand in the ears and eyes) and b) being a very noble and rich person in berberian tribe. Or, female genital mutilation is something specific for Egypte (yeah, Copts do it as well). To be understand, THIS IS NOT ISLAM. These are various traditions which were born in different countries. Similarly, reinterpretation of Quran tells us not to smoke (because Muhammad do not let us harm our body) or… diving a bike. By girls.

“Wadjda” of Haifaa Al-Mansour is a story of a 10 years old Saudi girl who dreams about a bike. And it is so rebelious.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

May I have your attention please ?

We live in the best of times. There is less and less poverty. Moreover, we are capable of cure basically the majority of illnesses. In Europe or United-States every hard-working citizen can buy a car and a decent house. Generally, the state has changed – It is not an unpredictable monster who wants abuse us and steal our money, but like in the Nordic countries, it could be really helpful and protective. Eve

We have smartphones, internet, social media, in short: a lot of convenience unimaginable for our grandparents. I address it to people who love romanticize the past. In spite of casual dentist visit, you can try going to the blacksmith. That would be unforgettable.

However, we – all human being – need to have some problems. We get bored because of a perfect quiet life and we look for some variety. Obviously, we overthink some banal situations, because there is a drama queen deeply hidden inside all of us. We look for attention and someone who will listen to our fictive problems.

That diagnosis of our society has been presented by Philippe Blasband in a theatre piece called „Les mangeuses de chocolat” (The eaters of chocolate).

Friday, April 14, 2017

My sweet little boy...

What makes a boy a man? Is he supposes to father a son, build a house and plant a tree to become a manly man? Of course not. Nowadays, we can rent a repair crew or the whole company to build a house. Also, more and more people are living in crowded cities, so it is quite impossible to plant a tree if you are not a member of Greenpeace. Finally, having just the daughters is not a shame.

A lot of boys expect that the sexual initiation would make them adult. However, there are still boys, but the boys who have sex. If a girl gets pregnant, basically they run away. When I was working with the teenagers, most of them admit that that special moment made them adult. It was not important if they could give a pleasure to a girl – that was not their objective. “I just wanted to f**k, because I want to be respected by my friends. They are thinking that I am a pathetic little boy”.

The definition of true men has been changing during last decades. Firstly, in 50’ the man had to be: head of a family, hard-working, emotionally inaccessible, patriot. He couldn’t cry. But after a war in Vietnam the situation changed. The 60’ made the boys discover their sensitive nature. They become more respectful to women but also less engage in life (family and political). Men don’t want be oppressive for a partner, so they become passive.

The lack of father results in creation of radical feminist (who basically hates all men) and lost boys who do not understand the notion of manhood.

Robert Bly present the vision of manhood which do not criticize the achievements of feminism, but at the same time in show the way that every boy has to pass to become a man. “Iron John: A Book About Men” would be an unpleasant lecture for every Peter Pan.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It is so easy to juge

People hate other people. That emotion is unstoppable and vivid.

The descendants of immigrants hate the country where they have been born. They don’t like the way they live: lead a life without the perspectives. All their friends do drugs, steal, cheat, don’t study and do not have enough money to go to the university. They don’t know different life.

Why? Maybe this is a fault of French government who didn’t let the Algerians buy houses in the city center. As a result, there were more and more apartments around the city which became a ghetto. There are some places close to Paris where the white people do not enter. On the other hand it is just funny that on the suburbs you can find the aristocracy living in their mansion or poor immigrants. There are some small, bourgeois cities like Maison-Lafitte (well-known in Poland thanks to Giedroyć) or dangerous places like Saint- Denis but rarely you can there find a mediocre place. The division between the richness and the poverty is overwhelming.

So again, why do people in France have problems with immigrants?

“La haine”, a French movie from 1995 explain this phenomenon and you could understand it in an altogether different light.