A Story of the Movies From the Village of Popielawy | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

A Story of the Movies From the Village of Popielawy 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Like any fable, this fanciful drama by Jan Jakub Kolski works on many levels, from family chronicle to psychological portrait to cultural commentary. "Josef the Sixth," a young boy living in the village of Popielawy in the 50s, finds escape through old movies; his father, a morose and alcoholic blacksmith, believes the family's been cursed by a magic lantern invented a century earlier by Josef the First and passed down as an heirloom. Kolski artfully connects the generations, paralleling Josef the First's fanatical obsession with the machine and the ferocious drive of his great-great-great-grandson as he tries to reconstruct it. Krzysztof Ptak's fluid and majestic cinematography captures the vast and timeless Polish countryside, a playground that merges past with present. But above all the film is Kolski's valentine to the movies: he sees the very process of projecting images as healing and redemptive, surmounting politics and enlivening the drab village. This enchant-ing piece of magical realism puts him in a class with the Taviani brothers and Hungary's Ildiko Enyedi as one of Europe's most gifted fabulists. Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, Sunday, November 8, 4:00, and Tuesday, November 10, 8:45; 773-486-9612.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ted Shen

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
August 26
Music
Fat Babies Green Mill
December 20

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories