Synopsis: Witold just failed his law-school examinations and Fuchs has just quit his job at a Parisian fashion company. Arriving for a few days away at a so-called family guest-house, they are greeted by a series of unsettling omens: a sparrow hanging in the forest, then a piece of wood in the same condition, and finally signs on the ceiling and in the garden. In this guest-house there is also a baleful mouth, that of the maid, and a perfect mouth, that of the young woman of the house with whom Witold falls madly in love. Unfortunately, she has just married an architect of the most respectable sort. But is the young woman equally respectable? The third hanging, that of the cat, is Witold's doing. Why did he do it? And above all - will the fourth hanging be that of a human?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Andrzej Zulawski
  1 win & 6 nominations.
103 min

"I'm scared of the forests.

"In the midway of this mortal life,

I found me in a gloomy wood,

"astray. Gone from the path:

"and even to tell,

That forest, how robust its growth,

"Which to remember only, my dismay.

"Renews, in bitterness

not far from death...

All else will I relate

discovered there."

- Don't go there. I've checked.

- And?

A joke. Fine if the hotels are pricey,

but this one, not even by the seafront.

But I called, I don't get it.

- Try this one?

- Since we're here already.

Bom dia!

We come'sh for the room'sh.

Auntie! Two gentlemen to have a look.

- Are you French?

- Yes, like my aunt.

How charming!

absolutely, one room for two

or two rooms full board,

as one of our guests has just left.

How long will you stay?

- A week?

- I flunked an exam, I need to resit.

- You're a student?

- Law. Third year.

- Oh, studies...

- One has to cram, Madame.

So here you have a bathroom.

And here's one of the rooms.

What are you doing here, sweetie?

May I introduce my daughter, Lena...

It's breakfast in bed,

and dinner downstairs.

It's a family business,

we want to keep a certain atmosphere.

Catherette will make the beds,

and give it a go with the...

If it's all right with you.

- Absolutely. Madame...

- Same with me.

- And your luggage?

- In the car.

- As for the price...

- We are two so we should take both.

This is a family business,

gentlemen, so er...

Needn't worry, Madame.

Oh, the things I've seen...

I passed a car park,

I'll see to the car and get my stuff.

I'd like to take a walk in the forest.

Is there a way through the back?

Certainly, Sir.

The gate is straight ahead,

through the garden.

I've put some towels in the bathroom.

Shit, it's going to rain.

There was a bird, hanged.

- Hanged, how?

- From blue string. From a cable.

What a hassle to park.

What kind of bird?

A sparrow, I think.

Silk and alpaca. Expensive.

Just kids. A prank...

It's too weird for a kid.

- Bizarre.

- I would say even more...


How pretty.

Tolstoy wrote that our biggest mistake

is to confuse the pretty with the good.

Times are modern, aren't they?

- So you want to say I'm old-fashioned?

- A bit.

"Modern Times", a review by Sartre.

- Who, who?

- Jean-Paul, a mistaken cross-eye.

- An acquaintance of yours?

- Like Tolstoy.

"Modern Times", isn't it a Chaplin film?

- Isn't she pretty?

- Too pretty. Bourgeoisie, our parents...

- What do your parents do?

- Dad's a judge.

- And your mum?

- Housewife.

A cold house.

- This Tolstu who...

- Tolstoy!

Yes, the guy who writes... who's he?

A writer. Russian.

Friend of yours?

I'm from Paris. A rag trade slave.

The hanged sparrow, Catherette's lip.

- You know Ralph and Lang?

- Not really.

- What's your plan now?

- To think.

General Criminal Law.

Dinner is served.



Don't fret. It always ends the same way.

Well... me, you will notice...

Now I'm just a spare part in

the hands of my better half.

The dripping tap, undercoat of paint,

fallen leaves to rake...

Master Lucien, my stepson,

if I may say-um.

Married to Lena,

who is the daughter of my spouse.

Fruit of her first marital bliss,

my charming dumpling.

Oh sorry, my love...

You don't find a hanged sparrow weird?


Just last weekend I noticed a chicken

hanged near the house.

Lucien is a young architect.

Laughable, these sparrows dangling,

chickens hanging.

Like killing two birds with one stone.

Well, imagining...

- A sadist?

- A bad man out of work.

Yes, a bad man.

- Must you contradict me?

- I'm saying bad.

- These are bad guys!

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Witold Gombrowicz

Witold Marian Gombrowicz (August 4, 1904 – July 24, 1969) was a Polish writer and playwright. His works are characterised by deep psychological analysis, a certain sense of paradox and absurd, anti-nationalist flavor. In 1937 he published his first novel, Ferdydurke, which presented many of his usual themes: the problems of immaturity and youth, the creation of identity in interactions with others, and an ironic, critical examination of class roles in Polish society and culture. He gained fame only during the last years of his life, but is now considered one of the foremost figures of Polish literature. His diaries were published in 1969 and are, according to the Paris Review, "widely considered his masterpiece". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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