Recently Turner Movie Classics played two of director Jerzy Skolimowski’s terrific but often hard-to-see films, Deep End and The Shout. This seems to have created a sudden surge of interest about the director’s work and I received a few comments and notes asking about the availability of his movies after making a brief comment about Deep End on Twitter.
My own experience with Jerzy Skolimowski’s work is minimal and I’ve only seen three of his films including his pivotal cult classic Deep End (1971) which is a troubling coming of age tale about obsession and misplaced passions starring Jane Asher in one of her best roles along with a very young and very cute John Moulder-Brown. His unusual and slow-paced psychological thriller The Shout (1978) is also worth a look and explores the dark power of sound. My memory’s a bit hazy about this one since it’s been decades since I’ve seen it but it stars some great British actors including Alan Bates, John Hurt and Susannah York. And last but not least, I also saw Skolimowski’s powerful political drama Moonlighting (1982) which features Jeremy Irons in one of his earliest roles as a Polish worker trying to survive in London while revolution brews at home. The last film is probably the least interesting but even it had some exceptional moments mainly due to Skolimowski’s ability to create and sustain an uneasy mood and an ongoing sense of dread even when nothing of particular interest is happening on screen. All three films impressed me but for one reason or another I‘ve never taken the time or had the opportunity to see any of Jerzy Skolimowski’s other movies.
It seems that Bavaria Film International is currently working on restoring and releasing Deep End on DVD and it should be available sometime this year so if you didn’t have the opportunity to catch it when it played on TMC you should be able to see it soon. According to Hollywood Reporter the DVD will feature commentary by the director and a remastered soundtrack by Cat Stevens and the German electronic band Can.
In 1991 Jerzy Skolimowski took an extended break from directing and he has only recently started to make films again. His latest movie is called Four Nights with Anna (2008). It garnered some critical praise and won a few festival awards in Poland as well as Japan but the movie is not available on DVD in the US yet. Skolimowski is currently shooting a political thriller about a member of the Taliban called The Essence of Killing that stars Roman Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner along with Vincent Gallo.
When Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End finally gets released on DVD I’ll try make note of it here or over at Twitter. I usually post bits of news & information on Twitter that isn’t really worthy of a lengthy blog post and lately I just don’t have much free time for writing lengthy blog posts. If you’re not using Twitter you can still follow my occasional “tweets” by subscribing to my Twitter RSS Feed.