Hochzeitsgäste [1990)

Finding beauty in a crowd.

You will never find it again.

The ne plus ultra of “fleeting”.

Was it just a dream?

Her hair?

We can pin nothing down.

About this brilliant film.

Except for its brilliance.

And that it’s a Polish movie directed by a German.

Who has no arms.

And who changed his name.

I have run the names of all the actresses in the credits.

And none of them are an obvious match for the star of this film.

The star is not Christina Ormani.

It’s the other girl.

The one that gets cheated on.

The jilted lover.

She gets cheated on, so she cheats back.

And in cheating, she finds love.

True love.

This masterpiece short film (feature?) was credited to Niko Brücher.

It was his first film.

You may know him (but probably not) as Niko von Glasow.

It makes sense that this is a masterpiece.

Because Von Glasow trained with Fassbinder.

The actor-auteur of Kamikaze 1989.

I could be wrong, but I think Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a better actor than he was a director.

And let me be unequivocal:  he was a GREAT actor.

On par with Bogart.

Really.

Back to Von Glasow.

He studied film at NYU.

And in Poland.

From the latter is drawn the cast of this film.

They are, it seems, Polish student actors.

Some went on to stable careers.

Others didn’t.

The star.

Who is she?

What is her name?

Which one of these inscrutable Polish names represents her?

I can’t be a fanboy if I don’t have a name.

My suspicion is that this is just about the only film she made.

But I don’t even know what to call her.

These are OBSCURE actors in this film (with a couple of exceptions).

Von Glasow has no arms because of Thalidomide.

Born this way.

But none of this adulation for this mystery actress would matter had Von Glasow not made this masterpiece where there are no spoken words for the first nine minutes of the film.

Indeed, over the course of its 38 minutes, there is no FUNCTIONAL dialogue whatsoever.

There is some whispering.

Some chattering.

But there are no subtitles.

And there need not be.

For this is essentially a silent film with sound.

Not to be confused with a silent film with musical accompaniment.

There’s music here, alright.

A strange, mournful (and rather clownish) marimba scores much of this film.

Just little melodies.

No crazy four-part harmonies or anything.

Very minimal.

Marimba (!)

What a choice!!

It makes for an ODD amalgam.

To reiterate, this film is powered strictly by VISUAL SYMBOLISM.

The actors’ movements and the camera’s light-sucking registration make up the entirety of this visual poem.

I must give credit to the cinematographer.

Although she is credited with merely “Kamera”, it is Jolanta Dylewska.

Between Von Glasow and herself, this is one of the most beautifully-shot black and white films I have ever seen.

It is on par with the two early Godard masterpieces À Bout de souffle and Vivre sa vie in this regard.

As well as being reminiscent in tone and mood to Antonioni’s breathtaking L’Avventura.

And our mystery actress (Anna Dabrowska?) is the equivalent of Monica Vitti.

We are talking about the same level of beauty.

And we are talking about having that beauty captured on film in such a singular way.

This film is currently free to watch on Tubi.

Don’t miss it.

-PD

cinematic music 5/19 [2022)

https://share.stationhead.com/8VXILI092UF

“Heartbreak Hotel”–Elvis Presley

“Born to Run”–Bruce Springsteen

“Streets of Baltimore”–Gram Parsons

“Ramblin’ Man”–Hank Williams

“My Kingdom”–Echo & the Bunnymen

“Goin’ Home”–Dinosaur Jr.

“Nature Boy”–Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

“Maggie M’Gill”–The Doors

“Dreaming”–Blondie

“Beautiful”–Christina Aguilera

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2kqP5YdPDoOdIkmqbBlB4k?si=416ca6c8991e49a0

Cinematic music 4/30 [2022)

https://share.stationhead.com/p16iVODtpFz

“You Still Believe in Me”–The Beach Boys

“Smokestack Lightnin'”–Howlin’ Wolf

“A Spoonful Weighs a Ton”–The Flaming Lips

“Maggot Brain”–Funkadelic

“All Cats Are Grey”–The Cure

“Perfect Day”–Lou Reed

“The Spark That Bled”–The Flaming Lips

“Cars Hiss By My Window”–The Doors

“Someday We’ll Be Together”–Diana Ross & the Supremes

“Big Me”–Foo Fighters

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4CjRv1svGJK5pQnEZaA5dY?si=c3df7ff52db94daa