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LE DÉPART

Poland, 1967 (MIFF 1971, Jerzy Skolimowski Retrospective)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

In The Departure, Jerzy Skolimowski made his first film outside Poland. It was shot in Brussels with a French-speaking cast, and this time, the subtle, moody personality of Jean-Pierre Leaud embodies that sort of youthful anarchy and erratic whimsy which is indigenous to the director's world. He portrays a young beautician who is so taunted by sexual uncertainty and a longing for excitement that he develops a unique neurosis: he falls in love with cars. He enters for a race meeting, giving his car as a Porsche, which he intends to "borrow" from his boss. His prospects of competing appear hopeless as the meeting approaches. His desperation leads to many adventures. Fortunately the young man has an attractive girl friend who is willing to sympathise with his traumatic infatuation.

The adventures of the hero are described with wild camera angles and a musical score which emphasises the frantic maladjustments of today's youth, especially those who fill their life with dreams. There is an unforgettable set-piece, in cinema-verite style, in which a glittering automobile show becomes an ultimate refuge from reality. Our hero's girl friend holds the clue to the solution of his problems, and the film ends by bringing his prolonged adolescence to an awestruck standstill.

Golden Bear for Best Film, Award of the International Critics' Union, Berlin

See also...

BARRIER

Poland, 1966
”The moment I accepted the scholarship, I sold myself to the Government - lock, stock and barrel . . . ! And so now I may just as well sell myself to anyone I choose . . . !" These are the first wo… More »

RYSOPIS (IDENTIFICATION MARKS: NONE)

Poland, 1964
Andrzej, a university drop-out, wakes up one morning, and after strolling through the streets, walks into an army recruiting office and signs up for military service. He is given two hours to pack hi… More »

WALKOVER

Poland, 1965
Walkover, the original Polish title of this film, is an English expression meaning "an easy victory". Though an entity in itself, in a sense this film is a continuation of Skolimowski's earlier film,… More »

A SLIP-UP

Poland, 1970
A Slip-Up bears a number of resemblances to Le Depart (1967), and the reason for this is probably the involvement of Jerzy Skolimowski in the two films. He was director on the latter film, and he has… More »

ESSENTIAL KILLING

Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary, 2010
"Intriguing and disturbing, made with tremendous confidence and conviction." - Guardian ... Vincent Gallo stars as an unnamed Taliban soldier, captured and flown to a mysterious eastern European coun… More »

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