Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
259 feature films. 19 days. 1 city. The Melbourne International Film Festival has just been announced - click here to check it out.x
review, Afterimage, Afterimage, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Bogusław Linda, Aleksandra Justa, Bronislawa Zamachowska, Zofia Wichłacz, Krzysztof Pieczyński, Mariusz Bonaszewski, Szymon Bobrowski, Andrzej Wajda, Biography, Drama, History

AFTERIMAGE

★★★★

REALITY ASKEW

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
14th June 2017

After watching ‘To Stay Alive: A Method’, ‘That’s Not Me’ and now ‘Afterimage’, a recurring theme seems to be appearing in my selections from this year’s Sydney Film Festival.

Whether it be poetry, singing, acting, or painting... being an artist is fucking hard.

‘Afterimage’ is the final film of Polish director Andrzej Wajda (‘Danton’, ‘Man of Iron’, ‘Man of Marble’), who passed away in 2016 at the age of 90. It is a biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (Boguslaw Linda, ‘Battle of Warsaw 1920’, ‘Psy’, ‘Tato’), who battled Stalinist orthodoxy, his own physical impairments, and the rise of communism in post-war Poland to advance his progressive ideas about art.

Strzeminski, who worked with Chagall and Malevich and introduced abstraction and modernity to Polish art, lost an arm and a leg in the First World War. From our introduction to him in 1945, as a beloved teacher at the Higher School of Visual Arts in Lodz, the steadily escalating narrative traces his loss of authority, respectability and comfort. Such is the price of an artist's independence and integrity - the Stalinist government punishes him for ignoring their definition of Social Realism.

'AFTERIMAGE' TRAILER

This artist refuses to serve the state so the state turns his life into an Orwellian nightmare. He loses his job, his marriage, his status, his living. His students and friends remain faithful to him until they have to give him up to establish their own careers. Aiding Strzeminski leaves them vulnerable to arrest or even "disappearance", as befalls the student who loves him and types out his theories about art. Without an artist ID card Strzeminski can't buy paint or even take a job as an illustrator, far beneath his abilities. Still, this artist holds true to his vision.

The actors are cast perfectly, with powerful performances by Boguslaw Linda and Bronislawa Zamachowska, who portrays Strzeminski’s long-suffering daughter. The widescreen photography of Pawel Edelman and design by Marek Warszewski simultaneously evoke the monochromatic drabness of Polish life under communism while remaining quite beautiful and expressionistic, with odd flashes of colour skilfully deployed, such as a scene where all of the light in Strzeminski’s apartment turns red, after a giant banner of Stalin is placed over his window.

‘Afterimage’ can be viewed as a timely rallying call against the spread of right wing governments in Europe, and defending the individual vision against a proscriptive government is very much a statement for our time.

Wajda was inarguably one of Poland's most important directors, with his searing anatomies of Polish history and politics, including his post-war trilogy, ‘A Generation’, ‘Kanal’ and ‘Ashes and Diamonds’. ‘Afterimage’ can be viewed as a timely rallying call against the spread of right wing governments in Europe, and defending the individual vision against a proscriptive government is very much a statement for our time. The film has few out and out villains, with most of Strzeminski's persecutors sympathetic but powerless or unwilling to resist.

The title refers to the artist's lecture on the physiological basis of vision. The eye retains an afterimage of what it has viewed. It is never an exact duplication of the physical reality - such as Social Realism purports to be - but inflected by the artist's character and emotions. Hence the importance of Strzeminski’s memory of blue, his lost wife's eyes, and the white flowers he dyes blue to bring to her snowy grave.

For viewers and those inspired by Strzeminski and Wadja's work, this film serves as a lasting afterimage of their artistic legacy.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 38m
CAST: Bogusław Linda
Aleksandra Justa
Bronislawa Zamachowska
Zofia Wichłacz
Krzysztof Pieczyński
Mariusz Bonaszewski
Szymon Bobrowski
DIRECTOR: Andrzej Wajda
PRODUCER: Michał Kwieciński
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Alita: Battle Angel - Go deeper into the epic adventure
TRENDINGWIN ALITA: BATTLE ANGELGo deeper into the epic adventure
Swimming with Men - A wet and wild British comedy
TRENDINGWIN SWIMMING WITH MENA wet and wild British comedy
End of Empire - The dysfunctional, tyrannical families from our history
TRENDINGWIN END OF EMPIREThe dysfunctional, tyrannical families from our history
The Public - A ray of sunshine amidst a chilly winter
TRENDINGWIN THE PUBLICA ray of sunshine amidst a chilly winter
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
The Lion King - A catastrophic and soulless remake of a Disney classic
TRENDINGTHE LION KINGA catastrophic and soulless remake of a Disney classic
Melbourne International Film Festival 2019 - The line-up
TRENDINGMELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The line-up
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
TRENDINGTHE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
The Keeper - The true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
TRENDINGTHE KEEPERThe true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
Defend, Conserve, Protect - Guardians of the ocean
TRENDINGDEFEND, CONSERVE, PROTECTGuardians of the ocean
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
When Harry Met Sally... - 30 years ago, a boy met a girl
TRENDINGWHEN HARRY MET SALLY...30 years ago, a boy met a girl
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
After - From Wattpad to the big screen - and God knows why
TRENDINGAFTERFrom Wattpad to the big screen - and God knows why
The Third Wife - Artistic, painful and beautiful
TRENDINGTHE THIRD WIFEArtistic, painful and beautiful
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
The Audience - Mirren reprises her role as The Queen
TRENDINGTHE AUDIENCEMirren reprises her role as The Queen
Aladdin - A whole new world of suffering
TRENDINGALADDINA whole new world of suffering
The Dressmaker - An insane, barmy and ecstatic film
TRENDINGTHE DRESSMAKERAn insane, barmy and ecstatic film
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us