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WALKOVER

Poland, 1965 (MIFF 1971, Jerzy Skolimowski Retrospective)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

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, Identification Marks: None. Ten years have passed since Andrzej enlisted in the army and he is still the cynical outsider in a very committed society. About to turn thirty, he has made a sort of living by travelling around the country and participating in boxing matches for "beginners". All goes well until one night he decides to skip town to avoid meeting a much tougher opponent in the finals. The end of the film succeeds in being at once surprising, logical and ambiguous.

Although the film is made up of only thirty-four shots, the effect is excitingly disjointed and syncopated. Skolimowski's method seems to be quite paradoxical, not to say dialectical. From time to time the action stops while the hero confronts the camera in what can only be termed a soliloquy, and yet the author manages to present his story with desperate objectivity. This is all the more remarkable in that Skolimowski not only wrote and directed the film, but also boxed in it.

Grand Prix, Arnheim Festival; Diploma, Montreal Festival

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 »

LE DÉPART

Poland, 1967
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… 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 »

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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