Smoke (2007) 

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Grzegorz Cisiecki

Smoke (orig. "Dym"). The story of a person who became the captive of surrealistic madness.

Director and writer: Grzegorz Cisiecki.

Cinematography by Dawid Rymar.

Editing: Cecylia Pacura, Grzegorz Cisiecki.

Original score: Rashid Brocca, Aleksandr Poroch.

Cast: Marta Szumiel, Grzegorz Golaszewski, Oriana Soika, Bartlomej Nowosielski, Katarzyna Dalek, Hubert Jarczak, Malgorzata Kocik, Mark Malak, Krzysztof Wach.

Produced by Justyna Siedmiogrodzka and Norbert Nowak.

PWSFTViT, Poland, 2007.

Grzegorz Cisiecki

  • At 10:29 on 27 Sep 2012

    It's always an extraordinary experience to view a film that trusts its vision enough to allow audiences to figure out the story. This 7-minute short from Polish writer/director Grezegorz Cisiecki is such a film. To call Smoke a surrealistic film is a bit of an understatement, for Cisiecki has enveloped the film in images, sounds and ideas that will twist the senses and attract your complete attention. A "bad" surrealistic film does so pretentiously and with no real sense of purpose whatsoever, but a "good" surrealistic film, and this is a good one, does so in such a way that the story and the images and the sounds begin to form meaning and purpose within the viewer's mind. As Cisiecki's cinematic experience was flowing across the screen, my mind begin filling in the gaps in story, dialogue and meaning in a way that made sense for me. There are pieces, homages really, present in Smoke to Lynch, Kubrick, Argento and others contained within the film. Some of you will "get" them, some of you will find yourselves watching this short and going "What the F***?" Both responses are appropriate, as is virtually any response when watching a film this surreal. The performances are presented non-verbally, a wise choice on the part of Cisiecki that heightens the surrealism and drives home a sense of suspense and wonder about the film. The ensemble cast pulls it off admirably, communicating wonders with body language and facial expression that speaks without words. D.P. Dawid Rymar lenses the film beautifully, creating mystery and mystique when appropriate with ever so brief moments of lucidity. The original composition by Aleksandr Porach and Rashid Brocca is played to perfection in a way both expressive and elusive in meaning. Maciej Bieganski's production design nicely captures what feels like the film's spiritual undertones contained within its sensuality. Smoke has played throughout Europe, and given its recent conversion to an English title it may be that Cisiecki is targeting American releases at this point. Indeed, this SHOULD occur as this experimental and surreal short film would be quite popular on the indie and experimental film fest scene.

  • At 10:50 on 27 Sep 2012

    This short film is given to us via Poland. It is silent so no need to fear subtitles folks. This film takes a young man on a journey through insanity and the language via this film is universal. Madness is portrayed from beginning to end. We don’t know why the young man is mad but we don’t need to. We know, he just is. The images in this film are slick and modern-gothic in nature. Disturbing and wonderfully ambiguous. The viewer will relate and see the meaning of each and every shot differently. I like a film like this that makes the viewer think and to do it in eight minutes is an indicator of the talent of director Cisiecki and his crew. The camera work is really well done and the editing is seamless. Crystal clear with a bright color palette. Reds are bright red and whites are stark. It makes for a very unusual color palette for a horror film. It would fall into the category of a horror short and I am glad I had the pleasure of viewing this piece of art because that is what it is. An artfully done portrait of a young man that you’ll somehow feel sorry for, another feat that is pretty incredible in eight minutes. I think Poland’s film board, if there is such an entity, should back director Cisniecki and his cinematographer, Dawid Rymar. This crew is talented enough for a feature film and I hope they get the chance.

  • At 10:52 on 27 Sep 2012

    Grzegorz Cisiecki’s dialogue-free experimental short “Smoke” is presented as a story of a person “who became the captive of surrealistic madness.” The madness is represented in a skein of conflicting and haunting images: carnal seduction (as depicted by a stunning chick in a tight red dress), captivity (as portrayed by a humorless portly gent who appears to supervise everyone around him), depravity (a costume party where masked men serve as hosts and sentries), romance (views of pastoral and ethereal relaxation) and the utterly bizarre (particularly the image of a tape recorder placed carefully on a plate full of blood). What does it all mean? As with most experimental films, easy answers are checked at the door – the viewer can try to piece together the nightmare logic of the sequences or just fall victim to the film’s striking visual style (kudos to cinematographer Dawid Rymar) and its haunting score (created by Rashid Brocca and Alkesandr Poroch). It is not always easy to pull off a film in this genre, but there’s plenty of creative fire beneath “Smoke” to make it work. As for the Belarus-born Cisiecki – who also plays the film’s handsome yet befuddled protagonist – he is clearly comfortable on both sides of the camera. “Smoke” is an intriguing calling card that should open doors for this talented young filmmaker.


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