Feb 18, 2013

And After the Night Comes the Night


A po nocy przychodzi noc / And After the Night Comes the Night (no date listed)
Matt Prigge

Scrolling down through the dozens of Polish cinema club films unearthed on the Enthusiasts site, I happened upon this B&W 2-minute short (billed as a feature), whose title seemed bleakly poetic and whose promise of city shots sounded intriguing. It’s not clear how true to its original state it is, although the version screened on Archive.org at least (the one on the Enthusiasts site was taking too long to load) suffered from aural digitization issues. What little sound there appears to be (a song, some expressionistic sounds, and finally some city noise) was garbled through digital smears. It’s not clear how experimental the soundtrack initially was, just as there’s very little data about the film in general. (This includes its date, which appears to be either the ‘60s or early ‘70s.) The cutting of the film, too, seems to either be very experimental or partly lost. The cuts are a touch too quick, suggesting frames have been missing. All this said, the short is very intriguing and picaresque: a modest art film that, without dialogue, and using only action and editing tricks, puts us inside the mind of a young boy who feels disconnected both from school and at home. The fragmented editing shows his fragmented mind, jumping from place to place as he walks down the street. When he gets to school, we see him first amongst his classmates and then, suddenly, by himself, alone in an empty room. He bolts from the classroom, and then later, upon returning home, runs away from there, too, heading off to an unknown location. The film cuts out too fast at the end – not in an artistic sense (it seems) but because the film that was used to salvage this film may have been missing it, as it appears to be missing other elements as well. But this could also be the result of the transfer to streamable video, which appears to have not been complete. (Although this could just be the version available for free streaming.)

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