Andrzej Żuławski’s first film in 15 years, a literary adaptation suffused with his trademark freneticism, transforms Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s novel of the same name into an ominous and manic exploration of desire. Witold (Jonathan Genet), who has just failed the bar, and his companion Fuchs (Johan Libéreau), who has recently quit his fashion job, are staying at a guesthouse run by the intermittently paralytic Madame Woytis (Sabine Azéma). Upon discovering a sparrow hanged in the woods near the house, Witold’s reality mutates into a whirlwind of tension, histrionics, foreboding omens, and surrealistic logic as he becomes obsessed with Madame Woytis’s daughter Lena (Victoria Guerra), newly married to Lucien (Andy Gillet)—in other words, he finds himself starring in a Żuławski film. The Polish master’s auspicious return bears his imprimatur at all times. Winner of the Best Director prize at this year’s Locarno Film Festival. A Kino Lorber release.
Read Film Comment‘s reflections on the film and the rest of Żuławski’s body of work here.