Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes Directed by John Gillies
Haunted by the recent suicide of his lover, the artist and visionary playwright Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (known as Witkacy) took a train through the Australian countryside in 1914 with his friend, the rationalist anthropologist Bronisław Kasper Malinowski. WWI had just been declared, and the pair have a heated, friendship-ending argument about the political, the personal, and the power of rationality versus the transcendent power of art. Intercut with the expertly acted and beautifully shot experimental drama, unfolding on the train are scenes from Witkacy’s own avant-garde play The Crazy Locomotive, as both the speeding train and the relationship between the two friends hurtle inevitably towards disaster.
Maria Linde (Krystyna Janda, winner of the Sundance Acting Award) is a free-spirited Polish poet living in Tuscany with her family in a comfortable villa. Feted by the small village in which she lives, Maria is spirited and independent, living a charmed life. She’s also having an affair with a handsome, younger Egyptian immigrant who runs a restaurant in the village. When Maria is granted a local award, and it is presented the day after a terrorist attack in Rome, she refuses to give in to the anti-immigrant hysteria, and makes a statement in her speech that causes national controversy and incurs the wrath of her fellow villagers. Dolce Fine Giornata is a smart and complex contemplation of free speech and independent thought in an era of hasty public condemnation. Read film review (in Polish) and see the official trailer here.
More info about Sydney Film Festival 2019 and tickets @ www.sff.org.au