Thursday, November 14, 2013

Floating Skyscrapers (orig. Płynące Wieżowce) [2013]

MPAA (UR would be R)   Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
FilmWeb.pl listing*
Stopklatka.pl (U. Lipińska) review*
WP.pl (K. Kasperska) review*

Floating Skyscrapers (orig. Płynące Wieżowce) [2013] [IMDb] [FW.pl]* (written and directed by Tomasz Wasilewski [IMDb] [FW.pl]*) is one of two (for this Chicagoan's eyes) surprising and potentially controversial Polish films to play recently at the recent 49th Chicago International Film Festival and then at the 25th Polish Film Festival in America held in Chicago (the other being In the Name of ... (orig. W Imię...) [2013] which took-on the topic of Catholic priestly sexual abuse).

The current film is about Kuba (played by Mateusz Banasiuk [IMDb] [FW.pl]*) a young, late-teen, more likely, early 20-something swimmer still living with his mother, Ewa (played by Katarzyna Herman [IMDb] [FW.pl]*) but recently having brought in his girlfriend named Sylwia (played by Marta Nieradkiewicz [IMDb] [FW.pl]*) to live with them.  Ewa's not happy with Kuba having done this.  On the other hand, Sylwia is working (as a waitress at a somewhat upscale hotel) while Kuba is not.  Still, Kuba is training as a swimmer and at least at some earlier point there had been some real hope that he could be a serious contender (presumably for the Olympic team).   However by the time the story begins, it's more or less clear to the observant viewer that this possibility has clearly passed.  Mom may not know (or even have clue yet) but Kuba's clearly drifting. 

Indeed, it soon becomes apparent that the main reason Kuba still goes through the motions of going to the pool "to train" is ... to be around similarly "buff" men.

Things come to a head when Kuba and Sylwia go to a party at some art gallery.  Readers remember that Sylwia's working at a rather upscale hotel and presumably she has some connections / aspirations of meeting and being with "interesting people."  Yet ironically the one who "scores" is Kuba, who runs into an architect's son named Michał (played by Bartosz Gelner [IMDb] [FW.pl]*) and the two soon _fall in love_ -- Kuba the strong hunky jock and Michał the artistic sensitive one.   Oh dear ...

Now this is Poland of course, and the difficulty that both Kuba and Michał have with their parents (though Michał appears to have been much further along explaining things to his folks regarding his homosexuality) is compounded by realities of contemporary Polish domestic life.  Both Kuba and Michał appear to live at home, Michał appears to be "more employed" (presumably as some sort of a graphics artist...) than Kuba, who is not employed at all.  And then there's still Sylwia, who still (for the moment anyway) loves Kuba and from a practical point of view IS STILL LIVING WITH KUBA AND KUBA'S MOTHER IN HIS MOTHER'S NOT PARTICULARLY LARGE FLAT.  Now, mom never particularly liked Sylwia , but after all this starts to play-out, she does come to respect her (for Sylwia's job) and to kinda feel sorry for her (as it's not clear if Sylwia had a place to go if Kuba threw her out).

Obviously much has to play-out.  Now the above description of the movie MAY sound almost comic, but this is a Polish movie ... it's deathly serious: Even if you figure-out who you are / come-out as gay, even if you can get your parents to, with pain, come-around to accept this, WHERE DO YOU GO AFTERWARDS?

A very interesting story.


* Foreign language webpages are most easily translated using Google's Chrome Browser.

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1 comment:

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