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Polish Film Festival in America 

Presented by the Society for Arts, the Polish Film Festival in America runs Friday, November 5, through Thursday, November 21

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Erratum

Erratum

Presented by the Society for Arts, the Polish Film Festival in America runs Friday, November 5, through Thursday, November 21, with screenings this week at Beverly Arts Center; Copernicus Center; Facets Cinematheque; Golf Glen 5, 9180 W. Golf Rd., Niles; Pickwick; River East 21; and Society for Arts. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $13, $10 for documentaries, and a festival pass, good for seven screenings, is $70. Following are reviews of selected films through Thursday, November 11, plus showtimes for later weeks; for more information, a complete schedule, and ticket purchases, call 773-486-9612 or go to pffamerica.com.

After.Life An unhappy young woman (Christina Ricci) blacks out in a car crash and wakes up on a gurney in the basement of the local undertaker (Liam Neeson); when she protests that she's not dead, he replies, "You all say the same thing." Whether or not she's alive is the question that's supposed to animate this ostensibly metaphysical horror movie, but thematic rigor mortis sets in long before the final reel. Apple pitchman Justin Long, who acquitted himself well as Alison Lohman's confused lover in Drag Me to Hell, tackles a similar but more emotionally demanding role here, and the character's torment is more than he can manage (I guess there's no app for that). The pallid Ricci spends most of her scenes clad in a sexy red slip or completely nude, which makes you wonder whether the producers are banking on word-of-mouth from necrophiliacs. Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, making her feature debut, directed a script she wrote with husband Paul Vosloo. R, 97 min. —J.R. Jones  Sun 11/7, 5 PM, Facets Cinematheque, Fri 11/12, 7:30 PM, Beverly Arts Center, and Tue 11/16, 8:45 PM, Golf Glen 5

All That I Love Four skinny Polish high-school kids form a punk band in 1981 and bash out anticommunist anthems in support of the Solidarity movement. Singer-lyricist Janek (Mateusz Kosciukiewicz) is already endangering the career of his dad (Andrzej Chyra), a liberal-minded naval officer, even before he starts canoodling with the milfy wife (Katarzyna Herman) of a neighboring officer who toes the Moscow party line. On top of that, the busy boy's got a Montague-Capulet romance going with a comely classmate (Olga Frycz) whose activist dad doesn't like military brats. This breezy 2009 drama is ultimately less interested in politics than hitting conventional coming-of-age chords, but writer-director Jacek Borcuch brings considerable energy and conviction to the material. In Polish with subtitles. 91 min. —Cliff Doerksen  Fri 11/5, 8:30 PM, Facets Cinematheque, and Sun 11/14, 9 PM, Golf Glen 5

Erratum In this nuanced and atmospheric drama, an accountant (Tomasz Kot, excellent) returns to his hometown to pick up his boss's imported car and on the way back accidentally kills a drunken vagrant. Stuck in the small village while he cooperates with the police and waits for the vehicle to be repaired, the hero resumes contact with his estranged father (Ryszard Kotys) and tries to uncover the dead man's identity. Encounters that seem sinister at first take on different hues as he gets closer to the truth about both men. Director Marek Lechki achieves a subtle elegance through still moments and small gestures, drawing grace and hope from the least likely situations. In Polish with subtitles. 95 min. —Andrea Gronvall  Sat 11/6, 5:30 PM, Facets Cinematheque, and Tue 11/16, 7 PM, Golf Glen 5

The Holy Business Estranged middle-aged brothers reluctantly reunite in their podunk hometown for their father's funeral. Execution of the will reveals that dad left everything to the Pope except a beat-up old car, but the boys don't feel quite so disinherited after learning that the jalopy once belonged to John Paul II and reputedly works miracles for those who pray inside it. Reconciled by greed, they brainstorm over how to cash in, but their evolving plans fail take equally venal local interests into account. This Polish drama sounds darker on paper than it is onscreen: director Maciej Wojtyszko tempers his satirical impulses with an affectionate forgiveness of human foibles. The film plays like a dyspeptic variation on the Local Hero genre of small-town fool-about. In Polish with subtitles. 86 min. —Cliff Doerksen  Sat 11/6, 7:30 PM, Pickwick, Sun 11/14, 3 PM, Copernicus Center, and Sun 11/21, 5 PM, Golf Glen 5

The Swing A prosperous Warsaw dentist (Wojciech Zielinski), chafing under his wife's orderly domesticity, gets his kicks on the side with a free-spirited mistress (Karolina Gorczyca); she works in the theater and enjoys his role-playing sex games, but she's also jealous and reckless, and eventually the wife's suspicions are aroused. The actors are attractive, but the characters they play aren't; they're so manipulative and selfish that their feverish couplings inspire little more than clinical detachment. Given all the well-appointed interiors and meticulously composed shots (in one scene, drops of water land with balletic and erotic force), director Tomasz Lewkowicz may have a future in television commercials. In Polish with subtitles. 94 min. —Andrea Gronvall  Sat 11/6, 7:15 PM, Facets Cinematheque, Sat 11/13, 9 PM, Copernicus Center, and Wed 11/17, 8:45 PM, Golf Glen 5

A Wonderful Summer With her petulant eyes, seaweed hair, and Olive Oyl frame, the young actress Helena Sujecka suggests enormous curiosity beneath her timid movements, and she's the freshest thing to look at in this otherwise familiar coming-of-age story. Upon finishing high school, her character flounders at weird jobs, copes with the death of her mother, and contends with the romantic advances of a smarmy rich boy and a more sensitive soul who works for her father. Director Ryszard Brylski takes a subdued approach; however flavorless the film may be on the whole, it shows a certain integrity in refusing to italicize all the emotional cues. In Polish with subtitles. 90 min. —Ben Sachs  Fri 11/5, 7:30 PM, River East 21, Thu 11/11, 9 PM, Pickwick, and Sun 11/14, 5 PM, Golf Glen 5

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