News & Reviews
Stunning in suspensefulness, Andrzej Kozlowski’s “1” showcases cinema verite angles so seamless that you unconsciously bob and weave in your seat, peering around trees as if you were glued to an actor hiding from the enemy behind red ant-infested, decaying limbs.
The drone of bee song and the hum of biting flies accentuate the omnipresent helicopter overhead, as it chops its way closer to its target, bugling its deadly intent. There are no white hats here, as the double-cross and distrust permeate all relationships, even the ones based in loyalty or love. You begin to doubt yourself and ask whether you’re rooting for the good guy, only to find after the next harrowing escape that you were woefully mistaken.
With haunting music gripping your ears and forcing you to cower down as yet again the huntsman becomes prey, Kozlowski challenges your moral compass, and in so doing, ratchets up the terror. Out of breath now, a bullet sears the air right by your ear, you’re afraid to turn because what kills you isn’t the weapon, but the realization of who is wielding it.
The film “1” is an interesting story enacted with no spoken dialog whatsoever. However, the actors communicate via gestures and body language. It is not like old silent films where cards come on-screen telling what someone says or does and Charlie Chaplin dances. This film attempts to tell an experience by slowly feeding the audience small amounts of context as the film progresses. As these small contextual pieces come together, all the pieces form a full picture to which the deeper meaning behind it becomes up to interpretation by the one who watches.
This film has many parallels about life hidden in its actor’s gestures and nuances in its scenes. In one example, there is a scene where a guy has five minutes of screen time just pensively thinking. There are many ways to interpret this scene. From how the film was until this point, I thought it had an allusion to relaxation and reflection. I applaud the film for presenting this scene in a way where it not only works but also creates an idea. There are many more scenes to talk about but it would be better if you were to watch the film yourself.
This film is packed full of small nuances, great cast, awesome sound design and a good plot. If there was ever a chance in your life to watch this film. Do it! You won’t regret it. You may pick up things from their communication that I couldn’t, find a different conclusion or an entirely different interpretation of the plot that I didn’t come up with. That is the power of this film; to make you think.
At the beginning of the history of film there was only a picture, captions. There was no sound. Later, orchestra and laconic music came along.
The introduction of speech was a revolution in cinema.
Andrzej Kozlowski’s film refers to these traditions of silent cinema in an innovative way.
The actors don’t even try to move their lips to speak.
Only the omnipresent sound accompanies them – perfect, aggressive, surreal – the sound of an escaping car and of a helicopter, the cracking of branches twisted by the legs of refugees, singing of birds, gunshots and silences.
I was waiting for the first words to understand the action they are planning.
But they DO NOT SAY ANYTHING. Nothing. For 98 minutes of the film.
Is it possible?
And yet yes. The film managed to keep its suspense until the end without a single spoken word.
The novelty of the film lies also in something else. This is an “action movie”. The action is condensed, dramatic, full of tension, and yet IT IS ABSENT. Everything is simply absurd, only a form. The film only imitates the logic and actions that cinematography has accustomed us to.
This is masterfully conducted visual narrative and acting, a real rarity in a clean, absurd and innovative form for cinema connoisseurs and for others too.
A gem of a movie. An independent miracle.
Go see it if you get a chance.
There were many stages, or rather episodes in the development of film, however the new serious turning point, at least for me, occurred when I saw “1.” The reason: universalism!
Through 98 minutes of the projection, not a single world is uttered, not a single syllable is spoken; there is no dialogue, period. And yet one sits and absorbs the “completeness” of Kozłowski’s picture, consisting of color, movement, shadows, music, noise and silence. The movies without dialogue released before the appearance of “1” were at least as numerous as films in color before color became the norm. However, none of the previous ones met the conditions of Kant’s transcendental aesthetics – the film “1” is its embodiment.
The first test screening presentation of the film “1” took place at 5:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, September 21st at California State University Channel Islands, 1 University Dr, Camarillo, CA 93012 room del Norte 1500
Big Thanks To Iwona Grzegorczyk & Christopher Onzol