To get the ball rolling on the website, here’s some recent memorabilia picked up at a recent film event. These provided the impetus to set up this blog to try and draw attention to some of the overlooked European films and actors, and to do something useful with the bits and pieces that I pick up at the fairs. If you were wondering who the person in the header picture is (although I like to think you do know), it’s Zbigniew Cybulski, star of Wajda’s “Ashes And Diamonds” and often referred to as “the Polish James Dean”. Personally, I like to think of James Dean as the “American Zbigniew Cybulski”. One of the pieces I picked up at the film fair was the programme for the 1966 Olympic-themed sports melodrama “Jutro Meksyk” (“Mexico…..Soon”, 1966). The picture above is actually the back cover of the programme, which folds down the centre to create a narrow, pocket-sized booklet.
Zbigniew plays Pawel Janczak, a sports coach, who has lost his licence and is reduced to teaching children to swim. Finding a naturally talented diver, Majka Plater (Joanna Szczerbic), he is determined to coach her to Olympic-standard and to restore his own fortunes at the Mexico Olympics. However, his methods are pretty punishing and his past comes back to haunt him when Majka finds out that Pawel’s coaching methods may have been responsible for crippling another young athlete.
Unfortunately, I’ve not managed to track down a subtitled version of the film, directed by Aleksander Scibor-Rylski, although a couple of clips are up on YouTube. And coincidentally, my gym teacher from senior school took part in the diving events at the Mexico Olympics. He was never called the “Bath James Dean”.
At the same fair I also picked up these three programmes. Again, I’ve not been able to find subtitled versions of these Yugoslavian, Polish and Romanian films, so in the meantime just look at how lovely the designs are……
Coming soon….the first of the film reviews, and time for the Johnny Hallyday film career reappraisal.