There’s nothing kinky about Jan Jakub Kolski’s Pornography (sorry, it’s all theoretical), which observes bourgeois torpor at a Polish country estate during the closing months of WWII. Frederic (Krzysztof Majchrzak) and Witold (Adam Ferency) are middle-aged free spirits who move into the home of their friend Hippolyte (Krzysztof Globisz). While a group of Germans inexplicably fuck around in the near distance, the gang inside the film’s pastoral dominion busies itself with drink, specious war commentary, and a last-minute act of vigilante justice. Unable to leave the estate, the Abercrombie & Fitch models that live on the farm become hornied. Frederic is careful not to overstep his bounds when one lassie bears her pre-pubescent breasts, and like a watchful father, he reassures her by buttoning her top, swallowing one of her tears, and then asking for more (oh brother!). As the war comes to a close, the men get noticeably friskier (Frederic curiously precedes a murderous request by squeezing a young blonde’s breasts like melons), but while there’s something to be said about the irregularly nurturing and lascivious relationships between the film’s older and younger generations, Kolski fails to follow through on much of anything. A Jewish family hides under the kitchen’s floorboards, but no explanation is offered for how they got there. This is more or less deliberate, because the idea here is to create a certain rhythm using parting glances and narrative blind spots. But while the film’s gooey, last-place-on-earth milieu brings to mind a haunting Polish folk tale, this mood is often betrayed by the cold, rhetorical war commentary Frederic and Witold engage in throughout their stay at Hippolyte’s bourgeois safe zone. Pornography is D.H. Lawrence without the penetration, Diary of a Chambermaid with none of the philosophical imagination.
- 117 min
- Jan Jakub Kolski
- Gérard Brach, Luc Bondy, Jan Jakub Kolski
- Krzysztof Majchrzak, Adam Ferency, Krzysztof Globisz, Grazyna Blecka-Kolska, Grzegorz Damiecki, Sandra Samos, Kazimierz Mazur, Irena Laskowska, Jan Frycz, Anna Baniowska, Jan Urbanski
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