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 Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960) 
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Is it Monday, yet?

I'd like to prattle on some more about Munk's marvelous mise-en-scène, and how it relates to the idea that the protagonist, Jan, is helplessly confined within his own history; and thus, that of Poland itself during this particularly period. Munk uses film as a medium, particularly the characteristics of generic silent cinema, to further this feeling that Jan is trapped inside some kind of institution that he has no hope of controlling. He cannot escape the undercranked camera and non-diegetic sound intrusions that Munk adds during a handful of sequences, just as he cannot escape the oppressive, totalitarian systems of fascism and communism and their ever-present agents. Though, Munk often goes even further by framing his protagonist as though in a frame; seen though shop windows or doorways, as though a tiny figurine in a box. Either that, or we see Jan obscured behind bars and barriers, further evoking a feeling of claustrophobia to go with this idea of helpless, impotent confinement, and of course foreshadowing the film's closing scenes.

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Mon May 13, 2013 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

It's Monday, but it's only almost 2am over here, so... might be a few hours. And here I was just saying I was gonna watch Clockers tonight when I should probably be watching this. I'll end up settling for the shorter one, like I always do.

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Mon May 13, 2013 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

I'll have to echo much of what Jedi had to say. Jan is swept up in the tides of change, pre, intra and post-WWII Poland. And of course, his likeness to Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin is where the film achieves its most humorous successes. His life, as told through recollection, is more or less a series of genre film parts. His childhood a mostly silent film, sped up and accentuated with cartoonish sound effects. The officers open their mouths to speak and we hear a loud honking sound. While attempting to join a pro-government student rally marching in front of the school, he fails to keep pace with the exaggerated marching instructions pulling him back and forth and side to side with no real pattern. Though he's a hapless romantic (a key component of virtually every Keaton or Chaplin character), he's not nearly as sympathetic as they are. This seems to be where Jedi and I differ a bit. I didn't find him to be so utterly helpless and in the hands of others. I think it's made fairly clear that his opportunism is much of what comprises his "bad luck". He's a blank canvas waiting to be painted to fit the environment. He never grew out of being the child bullied in primary school, so he conformed further to his surroundings and whatever suited his own agenda. He's a product of animalistic survival, and in that sense he is a bit sympathetic. After the war, the film seemed to shift its focus a bit toward capitalism as Jan becomes a money-hungry businessman. So yeah, here are a few more screenshots for the hell of it:

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Mon May 13, 2013 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

I didn't really get a Keaton- or Chaplin-esque vibe from this. It was more Danny Kaye (and Pee-wee Herman). I don't think this actor is particularly good at physical comedy. (That scene where he tailed the woman's husband was pretty terrible.) His talent is all in his silly face, and most of the visual interest comes from the camera. It's interesting that Jedi feels he is trapped. But, surely the final joke (that he's only happy in prison) contradicts that? He wants to be trapped, wants desperately to be a cog in the wheel, but never can. It's somewhat interesting that no one around him comes off well. The only reason he's even slightly sympathetic is that everyone else (in every regime) seems much worse than he is.

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Mon May 13, 2013 10:42 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Come on, that spying scene, him walking into the dog leash, failing to march in synchronicity...

That's all very much silent film slapstick. I thought the physical comedy was great. I completely disagree about the spying scene. I thought it was one of the best in the film. But that extends beyond the protagonist's performance and more to the staging of the whole sequence.

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Mon May 13, 2013 11:15 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Really? I remember thinking, while watching the tailing scene in particular, that it was only a lackluster imitation of better gags. I admit, though, slapstick's not really my thing. So, if you all think it's well done, I'll be happy to chalk it up to lack of sleep or something.

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Mon May 13, 2013 11:53 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

I adore well done slapstick. Jerry Lewis, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Marx bros... they all knew the game. Haven't seen any Harold Lloyd or Abbot and Costello.

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Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Watching this tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

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Tue May 14, 2013 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

B-Side wrote:
This seems to be where Jedi and I differ a bit. I didn't find him to be so utterly helpless and in the hands of others. I think it's made fairly clear that his opportunism is much of what comprises his "bad luck". He's a blank canvas waiting to be painted to fit the environment. He never grew out of being the child bullied in primary school, so he conformed further to his surroundings and whatever suited his own agenda. He's a product of animalistic survival, and in that sense he is a bit sympathetic.

Oh, I wouldn't go as far as to say that Jan is completely helpless. I mean, he makes his own decisions and attempts to grasp at the opportunities that cross his path, but ultimately his movements are defined by the age he lives in; he is but a rat in history's maze, in which choice and freedom are but illusions within a given context. But then, Jan tends to gravitate towards the very symbol of this kind of confined, oppressed existence, in his striving to join the military. One gets the impression that he feels this might provide some sense of agency or belonging, or, as the earlier scenes with the bugle suggest, a voice.

Shieldmaiden wrote:
It's interesting that Jedi feels he is trapped. But, surely the final joke (that he's only happy in prison) contradicts that? He wants to be trapped, wants desperately to be a cog in the wheel, but never can. It's somewhat interesting that no one around him comes off well. The only reason he's even slightly sympathetic is that everyone else (in every regime) seems much worse than he is.

As you say, that is the final irony of it all. Munk wishes to present his protagonist as a trapped, constricted individual - a victim of political circumstance - and goes to great, creative lengths in order to do so. Yet, as events unfold, one gets the impression that not only does Jan enjoy this mechanical existence and strive to be an effective part of it, but that he really doesn't know anything else. If placed outside this box, his reaction might be similar to the sequence where he's walking happily across the field as bombs begin to drop. Ultimately, this concluding of his own tribulations as mere "bad luck" - which one supposes also alludes to those of Poland itself - seems absurd initially, but he might just have a point.

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Wed May 15, 2013 3:00 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

These subs are the worst

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Wed May 15, 2013 6:37 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

They looked fine to me. A few odd extra spaces and the occasional missing apostrophe are hardly big deals.

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Wed May 15, 2013 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Seems like every other line of dialogue is being skipped

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Wed May 15, 2013 6:41 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

I think you're either having a stroke or you've fucked something up because I didn't have any problems.

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Wed May 15, 2013 6:42 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

A stroke of bad luck

Downloaded srt subs instead, and these work perfectly. Weird.

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Wed May 15, 2013 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Ha. I had to do the same thing.

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Wed May 15, 2013 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

I didn't mind this one, but I'm not sure I have much of value to add to the discussion.

I was most impressed by the part where Jan, in uniform, is found out, I think... very awkward/uncomfortable, in a good way. Was this really a comedy, though? I'd probably only classify the munitions factory scene as such, and that's hardly Chaplin-esque in terms of inventiveness.

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Thu May 16, 2013 3:24 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

It's definitely a comedy. That doesn't mean it can't occasionally be tragic or dramatic, but it's largely comedic.

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Thu May 16, 2013 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

So when do we decide who's picking next? Did anyone participate who hasn't picked anything yet?

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Fri May 17, 2013 4:13 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Jedi hasn't.

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Fri May 17, 2013 5:17 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Who's doing it?

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

** The Seine Meets Paris / Ivens
* Dreams of the City / Malas
Chircales / Rodríguez & Silva
In Order Not to Be Here / Stratman
Zoo in Budapest / Lee
* Pilgrimage / Ford
* Arrival / Villeneuve
* La maternelle / Benoît-Lévy & Epstein
* Get Out / Peele
** The Act of Killing / Oppenheimer


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Sun May 19, 2013 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Disappointed with the turn out for this. Guess I'll have to pick better next time?

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Sun May 19, 2013 10:39 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Does Jedi WANT to do it? I'd be willing to do one if he's uninterested right now, but it really should be him. Or maybe snapper again.

B-Side wrote:
Disappointed with the turn out for this. Guess I'll have to pick better next time?


Can't expect a huge turnout for these, sadly. Just look at how many you ignored before you participated, jerk.

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Mon May 20, 2013 3:05 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Will happily pick some films, if none of the more regular contributors are interested!

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Mon May 20, 2013 5:58 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Go ahead, then, Jedi

Either list some options for people to choose from or just pick one yourself and post the thread Friday or Saturday (I guess?)

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Mon May 20, 2013 6:32 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Or he can continue the cycle I started and post it today. Or whenever, really. Just sometime soon.

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Mon May 20, 2013 3:05 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Yeah, will post up a bunch of choices this morning.

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Mon May 20, 2013 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

~ Blind Spots ~

Image Image Image
Image Image Image
Image Image Image

Any preference?

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:04 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

arrivederci!!!


Tue May 21, 2013 2:06 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

wigwam wrote:
arrivederci!!!

Che liberazione!

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:08 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

They all look like the same film. :P

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:12 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Shieldmaiden wrote:
They all look like the same film. :P

There was a conscious effort to attain some level of consistency, yes. :D

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:20 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Shieldmaiden wrote:
They all look like the same film. :P


old+Italian= always same film

JediMoonShyne wrote:
Che liberazione!


are you calling me, like, a freedom fighter like Che? gratzi!!!


Tue May 21, 2013 2:20 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

wigwam wrote:
old+Italian= always same film

Beg to differ, but weren't you leaving?

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:21 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

JediMoonShyne wrote:
consistency


...like when Malina was irrelevant by the time of Bad Luck, these are all pre-irrelevant


Tue May 21, 2013 2:21 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Serious answer:

Image or Image

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:22 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

wigwam wrote:

...like when Malina was irrelevant by the time of Bad Luck, these are all pre-irrelevant

Like how anything anyone says is pre-irrelevant, because wigwam always has the last word?

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Tue May 21, 2013 2:28 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

JediMoonShyne wrote:
anything anyone :(


La Shitty si difende :up:


Tue May 21, 2013 2:34 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Image Image


These two

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Tue May 21, 2013 3:37 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Haven't seen any of those so I'm fine with whatever.

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

** The Seine Meets Paris / Ivens
* Dreams of the City / Malas
Chircales / Rodríguez & Silva
In Order Not to Be Here / Stratman
Zoo in Budapest / Lee
* Pilgrimage / Ford
* Arrival / Villeneuve
* La maternelle / Benoît-Lévy & Epstein
* Get Out / Peele
** The Act of Killing / Oppenheimer


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Tue May 21, 2013 3:51 am
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

It seems the Zurlini is winning, so far.

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Tue May 21, 2013 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

4th or 6th one

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Tue May 21, 2013 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Class Trip #9: Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk, 1960)

Re: the Malina thread, finally saw this and that which I missed back in 2013 (and I'm taking an intermission from Girl with a Suitcase now, my only other blind spot)

I have some corrie impostor syndrome from juggling this and Malina and loving the classical one while hating the experimental one but... this was just really hella good! I read an IMDb review that really hit the nail on the head by calling this a story about the main character's 'moral cowardice', his refusal to acknowledge it or stand accountable for it. This is interesting as a hero's journey biographical drama framed around and narrated by the recollections of the 'hero' who, like most fools, fails to notice how badly he's incriminating himself lol. He's so sure that he's the Good Guy, a hapless victim of circumstance, that the viewer fights against all evidence for well over half of the film to try to configure the pieces of the narrative in a way that backs his assertions up before realising in a rush that he's truly responsible for everything that's happened to him. It's hilarious, inescapably but still incisively allegorical (and a perfect fit for the 'Zeitgeist Film' genre I try to define in its own thread, his "bad luck" being the story of Poland itself between the war with Lithuania and the end of WWII), consistently engrossing and well-performed by Bogumil Kobiela, who takes his grotesquerie to some commendable heights. Some of the stylistic flourishes in the early segments reminded me of Etaix, and I think they may have been slightly out-of-place, but I highly enjoyed this.

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

** The Seine Meets Paris / Ivens
* Dreams of the City / Malas
Chircales / Rodríguez & Silva
In Order Not to Be Here / Stratman
Zoo in Budapest / Lee
* Pilgrimage / Ford
* Arrival / Villeneuve
* La maternelle / Benoît-Lévy & Epstein
* Get Out / Peele
** The Act of Killing / Oppenheimer


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


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