Monday, July 21, 2014

The Pottery at Ilza (1951)

Original title: Ceramika Ilzecka

Director: Andrzej Wajda

Writer: Andrzej Wajda

Composer: ???

Starring: Potters!

More info: IMDb

Plot:  In the second of three short films before starting his long and admired career as a feature film director, Wajda turns his camera onto the potters of Ilza, Poland where they've been masters of the craft since the 14th century.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Ultimately this is just a fluff piece, all 10 minutes of it, made by Wajda and cinematographer Jerzy Lipman when they were in film school in Poland.  He and his classmates made short films that would in no way attract attention to anyone who would see anything political in their films so they chose lackluster subjects such as this.  After the war Poland was under the rule of communism so keeping a low profile wasn't a bad thing.  In the film you learn as much as a few minutes will allow about the pottery craftsmen in the idyllic town of Ilza.  It certainly looks like a lovely place to visit.  The people there are dedicated to their craft and we get to see them at work throughout the process of making vases, sculptures and so on.  It's hard to get bored or excited about this but it's worth watching if, for no other reason, that it's an early work by Wajda.  It's on the A GENERATION (1955) DVD, part of Wajda's War Trilogy available from Criterion.

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