EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE… YET STILL IN EUROPE. SOME REMARKS ON ESSENTIAL KILLING BY JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI
Two forces are influencing cinema in Europe. One of them is consumerist audience which for years has treated America and its icons as determinants of style and quality of film productions. The other refers to the idea of artistic cinema, one that requires patience and courage from the recipients. This ‘double’ vision is important in proper understanding of the phenomenon called cinematography of Europe. These two perspectives will be applied in the analysis and interpretation of the latest film by Jerzy Skolimowski, Essential Killing, of 2010. They help explain the reasons behind the director’s success, and attractiveness of his idea. Aspects which allow us to define the topic in more detail are:
a) content and subjects which inform us about the artist’s viewpoints;
b) economy, or involvement of the artist-director in the production and post-production stage; the viewing figures and attractiveness of the film;
c) criticism, or positioning of Essential Killing in the context of artistic cinema, high culture, national heritage and/or European cinema.
The analysis and interpretation of the latest film by Jerzy Skolimowski requires knowledge on the criteria that establish the nationality or national identity. One needs to remember about ideology, myth creation, and common system of imagination and values. The search for timeless and one-ofa-kind identity seems to be an important topic nowadays. One question remains: what is the horizon of expectations of recipients of such cinema? There are numerous answers, but one of them remains fixed and unchanging. Most of the viewers expect that the national cinema will undertake topics that are somehow close to their hearts.
Translated by Iwona Grodź and Agnieszka Marciniak