"Roadside Picnic", the novel by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, boasts one of the great concepts in all of science fiction literature. The book is set in the years following an extraterrestrial Visitation that has scarred the face of the earth with mysterious "Zones". The Visitors are never glimpsed or understood, and the Zones are littered with strange phenomena and dangerous artifacts that puzzle the human population. "Stalkers" enter the Zones illegally to remove these artifacts and sell them on the black…
Hey, did you hear about this Jeffrey Epstein thing? Kinda weird that this pedophile finance guy with well-documented connections to a Who's Who of powerful figures including billionaire tycoons, the British Royal Family, and former and current American Presidents just turned up dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial for new sex trafficking charges? I mean the media said he killed himself, open and shut case really, he was depressed and facing life in jail and wouldn't anyone in…
One of my favorite things about Andrei Tarkovsky as a person is that he makes these incredibly soulful and incisive works of philosophical art, but with his mustache and short shorts he looks like every suburban 80s Dad on his way to crush a few Kokanees at a Dire Straits concert.
I have reviewed every Piotr Szulkin film! You can find the rest here.
Sometimes it feels like you need a doctorate in Polish history, and an abiding interest in semiotic analysis, to truly appreciate the films made under the Communist regime of the Polish People's Republic. At the very least, the modern viewer (especially if that modern viewer is from a western country) should be aware of some relevant historical dynamics:
Following WWII, the Polish government strongly encouraged a homegrown…