There were constant wrangles over which directors allowed form to predominate over content and how hard it was to maintain a satisfactory balance between the two. Theses written by students in their graduation year were full of such aesthetico-ideological jargon, which I found fascinating but, at the same time, sterile and inconclusive. The relative importance of form and content was brought home to me in an unexpected way. One day Cybulski turned up in my room with a briefcase full of film and told me to get hold of a 16 mm projector. (...) I managed to extract one from a private source. We closed the shutters, hung a sheet on the wall, and the show began.
It was a collection of silent, scratched, and battered old porno films dating from World War II, almost certainly of German origin, which Cybulski had unearthed in Gdansk. All the porno cliches were there: the man peering through the keyhole watching a girl masturbate, the ugly seducer having sex in socks and suspenders, the couple surprised in mid-fornication and the lover hiding in a closet while the husband takes up where he left off. They were pathetic pieces of work, badly filmed, ill lit, and out of focus, but we watched them spellbound. Pathetic or not, they were sexually titillating. More than that — not that I ever dared produce them in evidence at a film school debate on the subject — they were proof that content could triumph over form!
« Older Set on the stage of current book buying and readin... | The NYT reports on how a Secre... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt