Niewinni czarodzieje [Innocent Sorcerers]
Innocent Sorcerers is one of the few politically neutral films I have made. And yet, the authorities of the (Wladyslaw) Gomulka era held quite a different opinion on the innocent subject of a young doctor who is fond of nylon socks and quality cigarettes, owns a taperecorder whereon he records his conversations with girlfriends, and has but a single passion: playing percussion in Krzysztof Komeda's jazz band. Communist ideologues and educators found the subject more troublesome than the Home Army or theWarsaw Uprising.
Many viewers, especially the young, will fail to notice the delicate attempt at criticism present in the film. What they will definitely find attractive is the model of the easy life, so temptingly exhibited by the film's authors. And this can be categorized as socially destructive.
In Innocent Sorcerers, Wajda the tireless chronicler of War, Occupation and the (Warsaw) Uprising, often accused of a weakness for baroque pathos and ornamentation, has revealed a completely different side of his professional skills. The trump card he has played confirms his multifaceted talent and infallible sensitivity, showing, above all, that his so called "baroque whims" are but masterfully employed means of expression, unique to film. (...)
The film Innocent Sorcerers is socially useful. And, despite the authors' intentional impartiality, is, in my opinion, judgemental. The disapproval has been blunted by the unnecessary ending (Pelagia's return). Nevertheless, the bankrupcy of the life style presented in the film remains clear enough. The film sounds an alarm bell, showing Bazyli and his counterparts in their appalling emptiness and passivity. But even if the alarm willnot wake the young (who are by no means innocent sorcerers), it will certainly startle the adults.
Like Maciek, the dark glassed hero of Ashes and Diamonds, the doctor also possesses all the confidence building trappings of his chosen way of life: peroxided hair, easy manner, a motorbike, a little den of a room with its trophies and its photograph of Einstein. Yet he is actually as full of self doubt as Maciek, and equally disinclined to come to terms with himself.
But dawn will inevitably come. The lighthearted love game turns into a feverish strip poker, culminating in an amazingly complex moment of guilt and shame, when the soul stands naked instead of the body (...) And it is fascinating to see the director, whom we last saw throwing himself with abandon into the romantic cavalry charge of Lotna, recapturing his real self within a forty minute scene in a bare room (...). He shows his antiheroes as amiable, innocent, rebellious victims of a universal mood, suffused with the fallout of fear and nihilism.
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