With the Twin Cities Polish Festival going on this weekend, MN Film Arts will be screening eight Polish films. Aptly, their series is titled “the Polish Film Festival.” Starting on Friday, down at St. Anthony Main you can catch some of the best Polish films that have been released in the past couple of years.
Two films of note should not be missed: The Reverse, a strange and sometimes uneven story of three women—a daughter, a mother, and a grandmother—trying to survive in 1950s Warsaw. The elders are tired of 30-year-old Sabina (a perfectly mousy Agata Buzek) not being able to find a husband. When Sabina finally meets a caring man in Bronislaw (smooth operator Marcin Dorocinski), who wants to marry Sabina, he turns out to be bad news, and the three women take action. The black-and-white cinematography is the best since Christian Berger’s breathtaking work on last year’s The White Ribbon.
The other is the 2009 Oscar-nominated short documentary film Rabbit a la Berlin, in which we get a brief history on the rabbit population trapped in the Berlin wall. The film displays a vast amount of history about how the soldiers guarding the wall cared for the rabbits and watched the development of rabbits seeking a life for themselves in a closed area for many decades. For more information on what’s playing at the Twin Cities Polish Festival, see the festival’s website.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed opened in ten theaters last weekend across the U.S., and none were in the Twin Cities. This twisty thriller, however, can be seen on Amazon.com through their on-demand section. Two ex-cons, older Vic (Eddie Marsan) and younger Danny (Martin Compston), kidnap Alice (Gemma Arterton) and hold her tied up in a confined bedroom while trying to collect a large ransom from her father. British writer/director J. Blakeson has crafted a tight story featuring only three characters, set primarily in three rooms. The film echoes paranoid thrillers from the 1970s and has an original story that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The acting and editing are superb and the film only falters in the closing minutes, once the twists have been revealed and the setting becomes too small to hold the action in. The Disappearance of Alice Creed features one of the best opening sequences of the year:
Image: The Disappearance of Alice Creed, courtesy Anchor Bay Films