Through the crack
by Dorota Hartwich
- Passionate love and devastating secrets, from Spain to Poland. Selected in competition at the Sundance Festival and in the Spectrum section in Rotterdam.
Youth, nature and intense emotions are like letters of the alphabet with which Jacek Borcuch composes his cinematographic narratives. After the multi prize-winner All That I Love [+see also:
film profile] (Polish candidate for the 2011 Oscar), the director once again places these vigorous elements at the heart of Lasting [+see also:
interview: Jacek Borcuch
film profile] (in competition at the Sundance Festival 2013 and selected for the Spectrum section in Rotterdam). Youth is once again the subject, embodied by two Polish students who fall madly in love while on holiday in Spain. But their relatively well-ordered vision of the world, their hopes, dreams and unspoken words will all be shattered by an impulsive act whose consequences are totally unpredictable.
Their lives are shattered. A kind of crack appears, through which they must pass in order to begin to carefully rebuild what they have lost. The two protagonists are very close to one another, yet they hide their own truths. They are together, but kept apart by their secrets. And having a secret you keep to yourself means being on your own...
"Can a few seconds, real or quantifiable, change our lives?” A positive answer seems self-evident: they can not only influence our lives, but transform them completely. However, the next question asked by Jacek Boruch in this film is not as simple: “How can they change them?” For the filmmaker, “as soon as we start thinking about this question, a fascinating trip into the unknown begins, towards distant regions of the imagination, where instinct and intuition serve as guides.”
Jacek Borcuch’s cinema is indeed both instinctive and intuitive. In Lasting and All That I Love, the narratives pulsate and vibrate with emotion, a territory in which the director is quite naturally at ease, avoiding the shackles of intellectual analysis. Borcuch does not try to impress with his staging skills, but rather seeks to create his own "cinéma d'auteur", emotional and authentic, at a distance from academism. He succeeds thanks to his talent, but especially because he tells stories based on his own personal experiences.
Compared to All That I Love, which was 90% based on his life, Lasting is based more on imagination, but nevertheless remains very close to the filmmaker’s past. It is, however, impossible to reduce his films to a journal of his own existence, as each one gives rise to reflexion: Jacek Borcuch approaches the realm of philosophy and studies the human condition. His last three films (Tulips, All That I Love and Lasting) all have simplicity and the subjective nature of the image in common. From one film to the next, the filmmaker reduces the means of expression, “diminishes the volume of the dialogue” (less expressive, more suggestive) and renders the image more poetic but also more moderate. Lasting is particularly striking thanks to the work of the director of photography Michal Englert, his classic editing, and the subtle music composed by Daniel Bloom.
Jacek Borcuch’s powerful and emotional cinema is also built thanks to the work of its actors, with young actors in the main roles. Beside Jakub Gierszal (Shooting Star 2012 of the EFP, discovered in All That I Love before he won notoriety with Suicide Room [+see also:
interview: Jakub Gierszal - Shooting S…
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile]), we find the new face of Magdalena Berus (Baby Blues [+see also:
film profile]). They are accompanied by Andrzej Chyra, Joanna Kulig and Spanish actors Angela Molina and Juanjo Ballesta. Lasting is the result of a co-production between Poland (Manana) and Spain (Espiral Producciones), a first for a Borcuch film.