High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
Ashes and Diamonds
Maciek and Andrzej, two home army fighters, were paired and ordered to kill an incoming communist party cadre. At the hotel where their target's welcoming party is being held. Maciek meets the barmaid Krystyna and the two have a brief, passionate affair, before he is pulled away from this fleeting happiness into his deadly mission.
The third and last chapter of Andrzej Wajda's thematic (wartime) trilogy (coming after A Generation and Kanal), Ashes and Diamonds, a study on the political and social chaos felt at the end of the WWII, follows the story of Maciek (the protagonist) and Andrzej, who are sent to kill a Polish Communist leader in the last day of the Second World War (in fact, the film is set within one single day, which is the famous day of Germany's surrender). A film that can be seen as a piece of anti-Soviet propaganda, Ashes and Diamonds is, simply put, a masterwork.
It's impossible to not to admire a film that's so fun and yet, feels so relevant, this is what happens…
War torn Poland is the setting for this tale about the power of love. Romantic love and love of country.
Maciek is one cool dude. He wears tinted glasses, a military coat, and a devil-may-care hair style. He is a Polish Peter Fonda. We are introduced to Maciek as he is attempting to assassinate a political figure. He is part of an underground revolution movement. I say attempting because the people he brutally kills end up being the wrong people. They were just passing through the wrong place at the wrong time.
Maciek soon discovers his mistake and volunteers to right his wrong by killing the correct man latter that night. That is, until he meets Krystyna. She is a…
End of an era
Looking into the unknown.
Shifting alliances push for power
While the young search for meaning.
Seen as part of a selection of Polish films by Martin Scorsese, and at the risk of triteness I can see a lot of this movie's influence on his work - the mix of flashy, old Hollywood expressionism with cold, hard reality with a liberal dose of religious imagery is pretty close to his signature style.
It also reminded me of von Sternberg, particularly in a gorgeous sequence made up exclusively of a series of close-ups of two lovers' faces (sorry for using the word "lovers" but as they say, sometimes "lovers" is all we have). But the visuals in this are flat-out gorgeous throughout, so much so that I kept waiting for them to detach from the narrative and fly off of this Earth completely.
“So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames
of burning rags falling about you flaming,
you know not if flames bring freedom or death.
Consuming all that you must cherish
if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest
Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond
The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.”
Cyprian Norwid's poem contains the life of this film all in a few short verses. It summarizes everything that Wajda wanted to translate to his audience. This is the third and final film in his famous war trilogy and while I personally do not think its the best of the three it is still a bold statement to end with.…
Andrzej Wajda frames Polish youth in the fog of post-war disillusion as they rub up against the old guard in the shifting sands of the newly liberated Communist Poland. With an assassination plot in full force from the opening frames, we are drawn into the world of a young partly cool, partly goofy hit-man named Maciek as he battles a moral quandary about his nominated profession and the job at hand. Many scenes and shots are rich and iconic, with some being downright jaw-dropping (The fireworks scene comes to mind), but ultimately it didn't do quite enough for me on one viewing to fly its flag as high as gunrunners like Martin Scorsese who lists it as one of the…
Might be wrong but I definitely see an intense Welles influence visually here. Combine that with a political thriller plot, absolute killer lead, and a looming mood of failure and anxiety from people who (mostly) all just want the best for their war-torn country, and you've got recipe for melancholic success.
En Pópiol i diament se puede encontrar una fresca mirada pulp al escenario político inmediato a la segunda guerra mundial. En un pueblo sin nombre, justo el día del rendimiento de Alemania, confluyen alrededor de un hotel conservadores y nacionalistas, héroes de la resistencia, la nueva burocracia y el ejército de ocupación rojo. Dos renegados 'wyklęci' ejecutan al comienzo del film a obreros de una cementera al confundir su jeep por el del comisario comunista que debían eliminar. Al llegar al pueblo coinciden con el objetivo y deciden concluir el trabajo esa misma noche durante la celebración del fin de la guerra.
La película rueda suavemente como una versión nihilista de Casablanca, tres hilos narrativos son muy bien llevados a…
Ashes & Diamonds in spirit is like a sly James Dean action/romance flick for its sheer charm and the likability of its cool sunglasses wearing, pompadour sporting cool guy hero but it didnt get its reputation for being one Polands finest art films for its similarities to American 50s pop cinema alone, though...
This is a story trapped within the broken heart of a war torn Polish town in late 1945 that has survived not one but two enemy occupations. Our hero is a Polish resistance fighter whose time is literally and figuratively running out but must decide if he wants to execute one last Soviet Communist target at a local hotel or leave the fighting for a better life with…
Cenizas y diamantes.
"...Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond...The Morning Star of everlasting triumph."
After watching the brutal wartime reality of subterannean resistence fighters in 'Kanal', I thought I should check out this reputable and notable post-war film by Wajda. Being also a Zulawski fan, I was saddened to hear of his death while being surprised to read that Zulawski was Wajda's personal assistant on many films. This film is reccommended from filmmakers like Scorsese and Coppola, and I must say I was not disappointed. The main character is like James Dean and the thriller elements were extremely well-done.
The opening reminded me of sequences from 1970s crime thrillers like 'Sorcerer' and 'The Outfit', but, most of all, the film balances a thriller with a superb romance subplot.
Years ago I saw Ashes and Diamonds without realizing anything it was trying to say nor what it was about. I don't know how that's possible but it was. Nevertheless I fell in love with it - its melancholy and philosophy that are the kind that creep as tensions on the background, preparing for chilling finale. This is the defining film for post-war Poland. The feeling that we are in the crossroad is so poetically weaved, that its emotions fill our senses with incomprehensible purity. Maciek picks gun, puts it down, tears some of his hair. He falls in love - perhaps only to find a purpose to his existence. When he kills, does he kill for the cause he…
Seen as part of the 2016 30 Countries Challenge
Ashes and Diamonds is Andrzej Wajda‘s third and final movie in his war films trilogy, following A Generation (1954) and Kanal (1956), which respectively focused on the early days of WWII and then the midst of it with the Nazis at their worst. In this one we follow one of the cursed soldiers on VE Day, as Poland is rid of one oppressor just to face the Stalinist regime. The movie is based on the Jerzy Andrzejewski novel of the same title, and takes most of its cues from a poem by the nationally esteemed Cyprian Norwid;
So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames
of burning rags falling…
Beautiful, brutal and oh-so-Polish.
Otra gran película de la posguerra.
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