Jerzy Skolimowski

Sog., Scen., Scgf.: Jerzy Skolimowski. F.: Witold Mickiewicz. M.: Halina Grondek, Jerzy Skolimowski. Mus.: Krzysztof Sadowski. Int.: Jerzy Skolimowski (Andrzej Leszczyc), Elżbieta Czyżewska (Teresa/Barbara/ la moglie di Leszczy), Tadeusz Minc (Mundzek Kruszyfiskì), Andrzej Żarnecki (Raymond), Jacek Szczęk (Mundek), Juliusz Lubicz-Lisowski, Marek Piwowski. Prod.: PWSTiF. DCP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Rysopis is an imperfect autobiography since Andrzej Leszczyc’s existence resembles that of the director only at certain moments. It is more like a portrait of someone who resembles him like a brother (“What does resemble mean?” J.S.). The line between truth and fiction, between “I” and “he” is blurry, and Skolimowski’s great originality is abolishing the distinction between subjective and objective. We do not stop “following” Andrzej, but we see and hear the world like him while becoming judges and involved parties at the same time. No film had ever pushed identification with a main character to this point, and without using flashbacks or the artificial solutions of off-screen commentary, or the subjective camera employed by Daves or Montgomery. Concerned about the involvement of personal experience, Skolimowski concentrated his films’ timelines; they never take place over more than a day or two… But during those crucial hours when the hero unwittingly takes stock of his life, the camera is always on him. 39 shots in Rysopis…, this is how, at the price of technical prowess, the filmmaker hopes to depict his character’s journey as succinctly as possible…
These peregrinations are linked to a psychology of behaviour. Andrzej is unstable, perpetually seeking his own balance and even his ego.  And it’s not just at the gym where he practises shadow-boxing, in other words, fighting against his shadow. Leszczyc is extremely focused on himself. A coffee counter and a cracked mirror suggest narcissistic reveries to him. Egocentrism is the key to his personality, space interests him only as an extension of his own body, and masochism (Skolimowski, clearly a playboy and proud of his physique, receives a severe beating in every film) is yet again a way to feel one’s existence.

Michel Ciment, La Tête et les jambes, “Positif ”, n. 77-78, July 1966

Copy From

Restored by Studio Filmowe KADR and Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumenalnych i Fabularnych at DI Factory laboratory, from the 35mm duplicate negative. Funding provided by Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego and Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej