Director: Jacek Borcuch
Cinematography: Michal Englert (The Congress, Elles, In the Name of)
93mins Drama Polish with English subtitles
With its sun-drenched images, palpable sense of heat and lissome lovers with tousled blonde hair, JACEK BORCUCH’S drama LASTING will appeal to art house audiences, capturing the aching lustfulness of first love seen through eyes of two young Polish college graduates (Michal and Karina) who take off for a summer in Spain. LASTING is a dreamy memory of carefree love on the cusp of adulthood and challenged by fate.
Michal and Karina’s relationship is put to the test when a Michal’s chance meeting with a local man in the riverside farm where they are staying with his family, ends in tragedy sending a chill breeze through their sunny idyll and threatening to tear them apart.
Michal Englert uses the same bleached-out aesthetic, slowmo sequences and hazy camerawork that he does so effectively in In the Name of ; to create a timeless picture of Summer heat that is soon intensified by an undercurrent of anxiety, leaving us as bewildered as the protagonists themselves. Borcuch’s effective use of silence, minimal dialogue and a subtle instrumental score ramps up the tension as the camera observes the fallout of the tragedy and its psychological effect on the young lovers. Once they get back home, it transpires that Karina is harbouring a secret of her own and this additional element starts to have a wearing effect on both their relationship and the pacing of the film. There’s nothing particularly original about Borcuch’s narrative, but the strong, performances and sizzling chemistry of the leads powerful sense of place make it a romantic drama worth watching. MT
KINOTEKA RUNS UNTIL 30 MAY 2014 AT VARIOUS VENUES IN LONDON