One associates Polish director Andrzej Wajda with union dramas and, more recently, national historical epics, so this meta-movie relic of the swinging 60s seems like a real oddity. It opens with a film director (Andrzej Lapicki), on location in the subway, pacing out a scene in which the star falls under the wheels of a train and dies; the star never turns up, leaving the director to puzzle out his whereabouts and mind the star's gorgeous but wigged-out wife (Elzbieta Czyzewska) during some Felliniesque adventures. Wajda based the story on the January 1967 death of actor Zbigniew Cybulski—the “Polish James Dean”—who'd starred in Wajda's breakout film, Ashes and Diamonds, a decade earlier. This 1969 feature paints a fairly acid portrait of the movie business: in one scene a flatbed trailer stacked with film cans, the star's last exposed footage, is trailed reverently by the main characters as if it were a casket. In Polish with subtitles. 94 min.
By J.R. Jones