1714 -18th Avenue • Seattle WA 98122. WHEN: THIRD FRIDAY of the month • 7:30 PM (usually, but check for details on each film) • Free admission

Our Mission: Polish Film Club OKO is a private discussion club, affiliated with the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle (a non-profit organization), and devoted to promoting Polish-themed film art in the Pacific Northwest through exposure, education and discussion - ALL FILMS HAVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

ATTENTION FEBRUARY 2019: OKO's mission changed to promote survival of the Polish language among the immigrants: we will still strive to show films with the English subtitles, but it's no longer a major priority. Watch each post for the info on whether the subtitles are provided. We hope you continue to enjoy the Polish Films!

See you at Kino OKO and thank you for being a film friend. OKO logo by Iza Turski.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About Zanussi's 'Silent Touch' (2/16 screening)

A case of acute bronchitis stopped me from blogging at the time of seeing the film a week ago at the OKO meeting, but now- a week later - I still can't say I liked it...  I mean it was highly watchable, performance-wise: an old, mean-spirited curmudgeon-genius (old composer, in case of this movie) is fun to watch, especially when played by the great Max von Sydow ruining  the lives of his  companions.

The rest of the cast was impeccable, too:  a dutiful, subservient wife played by a british actress, page-like-worshiping Polish music student played by a French-Canadian and an enthusiastic, bubbly young musicologist/secretary/lover, of course - all good fun to watch. The finished symphony was played and  the love-child was born.  But, I agree with  Ewa Bienczycka, who said 'so what?'  in her pre-movie comments (see below the previous post).

To me, the plot was highly predictable and tad misogynic, too boot:  everybody serves the genius-artist-master,  for a greater good - the old issue of art versus life gets good airing.  The greater good was one Wojciech Kilar's symphony,  played at the movie's end in an upscale concert-hall, and 'interviewed for the masses' by a  blond-hair/fake-eyelashes journalist (kudos for Beata Tyszkiewicz for a perfect phony news anchor) .  The symphony, or the extend we heard of it, was a nice piece, but hardly a show stopper.

I read somewhere that this film was supposed to be Zanussi's big come-back in early 90s - after great movies of 60s and 70s the filmmaker was hit with something of a dry spot in 80s;  I also read that it was well received when it came out in 1993 and widely seen as such.  Perhaps my personal expectations were too high, and I should have headed advice in  NYT review : '[...]"The Silent Touch" should not be analyzed too closely.[...]', instead of expecting another 'Struktura Krysztalu'.

I missed the OKO discussion after screening, as my lungs were exploding (which might have colored  my perception, too), but  before I run out I heard that most people liked the movie, so hopefully Rysiek, who took over at that point, reports about after-the-film talk and counters my uncharitable opinion...