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Barrier
(Bariera)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski.
With Joanna Szczerbic, Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Lomnicki.
Poland, 1966, 35mm, color, 77 min.
Polish with English subtitles.

A floating, dream-like film, Barrier embraces bizarre and surrealist-inspired imagery to tell the story of a former medical student trying to diagnosis his own gradual detachment from the world. Barrier reveals Skolimowski’s more romantic side in its depiction of love as a willfully illogical force and in its touching, vivid portrayals of the young women in the hero’s life. For Skolimowski the eponymous barrier is most clearly inter-generational – embodied in the distance between the young man and his elderly pensioner father who remains far closer to his memories of the war than to the realities of Sixties Poland. Barrier’s striking expression of the emergent new current in postwar Polish cinema and its break with more traditional narrative conventions, is made clear by its unexpected use of abrupt slapstick to satirize corporate and military culture, as well as by the improvised feel of the dialogue and the innovative jazz score by the legendary Krzysztof Komeda. – HG

PRECEDED BY

  • Erotique (Erotyk)

    Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski.
    Poland, 1960, 35mm, black & white, 3 min.

An early film by Skolimowski made while a student at Lodz Film School.

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The Radical Visions of Jerzy Skolimowski

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