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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Polanski: Nóz w Wodzie (1962)

I firstly saw Nóz w Wodzie sometime in the sixties. Throughout the years I forgot some details of the plot, while I kept the essential. I remained with the impression of one of the greatest movies ever. I watched many other of Polanski's works, none of them has succeeded to replace this one in my soul. Many of his movies are great, this one is unique. By the purity of his minimalism? Maybe. You see, his other works started from very generous stories, offering full potential to create great movies. This one has practically no story. A couple is driving their car toward a lake for two days of sailing, a hitch-hiker appears as of nowhere, they invite him to join, their stay on the boat is tensioned by obscure conflicting impulses, a fight takes place, the unknown guy leaves toward nowhere. Drowned (as the male believes)? Alive (as the female knows)? Or is it just the woman imagination?

After many years I encountered the movies of Kim Ki-Duk. 3-Iron made Nóz w Wodzie come to my mind. It seemed to me that both movies were sailing on the same waters. I related 3-Iron to Nóz w Wodzie, and then I related all Kim Ki-Duk films to 3-Iron. They are exploring two universes: ours, where what matters is a good job, a good car, a good house, a good marriage (to be read a spectacular wife), and the other universe, where everything is just absurd (by our standards). The hitch-hiker in the movie of Polanski, the drifter in the movie of Kim Ki-Duk, are just visitors: our reaction is of open hostility (if we are the subjects in our world), sometimes of obscure attraction (if we are rather the objects, dreaming escapes). Hostile or attracted to them, it happens the same: they remain just visitors, we'll never know anything about them.




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