Early Monthly Segments

#41 = 7/16/12 = Andrzej Wajda

Ashes and Diamonds

Featuring a rare, worn and beautiful 16mm film print of Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds. The third and most visually arresting of Wajda’s early trilogy of war films, Ashes and Diamonds finds two resistance fighters with orders to assassinate a Communist commissioner on the day after the German surrender of World War II. The two assassins spend the night in a hotel after a first failed attempt, gathering the strength to finish what they started by reminiscing on their years during the resistance and all those they have lost in the battles.

With its stunning deep-focus shots and rich black and white photography, Ashes and Diamonds is a standout of Polish filmmaking. Wajda’s tense script is enlivened by his two main actors—the elegant Adam Pawlikowski and the stunning Zbigniew Cybulski. Cybulski’s acting style and off-screen personality earned him the nickname “the Polish James Dean” (cemented unfortunately by an early death) and his role as Maciek finds him rising to the occasion—stealing the show with bomber jacket, sunglasses and nonconformist languor.

Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament), Andrzej Wajda, 1958, 16mm, Poland, 103 minutes
@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday July 16, 2012  |  8:00 pm screening

Upcoming #42 = August 13 = TBA