Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Borowczyk Has Died
I've just learned from Greencine Daily the awful news that Walerian Borowczyk has left our world. He was the author (with Jan Lenica) of numerous animated films that I have not yet seen. He co-directed one film in 1959 with Chris Marker that I hope to see one day. I have seen his most famous film, The Beast (1974 I think), which did nothing for me, as well as Story of Sin (1975), which had the taint of quiet "T-of-Q" sterility to it despite passages of real verve. But not all of the films of Borowczyk's are ones I haven't seen or don't love. His film La Marge (1974; with Joe Dallesandro and Sylvia Kristel) haunts my thoughts still, as does Love Rites (1988), and most of all Blanche (1971), which deserves to be named with Perceval (Rohmer, '78) and Lancelot du lac (Bresson, '74). What demarcates Borowczyk from the rest of the cultish-erotic-bloody crowd is his true modernist attention to the forcefulness and presence of his images, the way he pushes his stories not into the merely dreamlike (a fictive signifier, and justification, for haziness and transcience) but into the unsettling realm of all out oneiric abandon--his cinema at its greatest is as mysterious and inscrutable, as keen and singular, as Bresson.