Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

A Year of the Quiet Sun

Since well_lahdidah is out-of-town, it was time for another viewing of The Last Potato. This time, it was Krzysztof Zanussi's 1984 film A Year of the Quiet Sun, streaming on Amazon Prime. Starring Woody Harrelson as Norman, an American GI, and Kate McKinnon as Emilia, a Polish widow approaching middle age, it tells the story of an unlikely romance in Poland immediately following the war.

(OK, the actors reminded me of Harrelson and McKinnon.)

It has everything: burnt-out buildings, prostitution, corruption, death, scarce baked goods, Nazi flashbacks, exhumed corpses, and pointless sacrifices.

At one point Norman drags a translator along with him to meet Emilia. Norman takes the 3 of them somewhere private, where he tries to convince the translator to explain to Emilia that he loves her. Norman is at a loss for words and tries to enlist the translator's help, but the translator is either unwilling or unable. Norman and Emilia both start laughing at the translator. The translator is frustrated and basically asks both Norman and Emilia, in their native tongues, what they find funny, as he told no jokes.

The joke is that neither Norman nor Emilia share a spoken language, but they've communicated successfully, whereas the multilingual young translator they found to try to assist them is at a complete loss. It's a wonderful moment. It reminded me of the ice cream man in Ghost Dog.

The dance scene later is quite jarring, and the camerawork and manic whirling reminded me of Wajda's 1972 film, The Wedding.

All in all, though, it has the hallmarks of The Last Potato, and I can't recommend it unless you really crave that 1946 Poland vibe like I do.
Tags: movies

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