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The Forgotten: Andrzej Żuławski's "Boris Godunov" (1989)

  • MUBI
It was Michael Powell who proposed the idea of the composed film, in which movement, color and framing are all synchronized to music to create a seamless work of art, and he began putting it into practice in Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes, before going all-out with Tales of Hoffmann and Bluebeard's Castle. Few have followed in his steps. One who did was the late Andrzej Żuławski, whose filmed opera (music by Mussorgsky, lyrics by Pushkin) Boris Godunov (1989) is one of the most relentlessly and astonishingly beautiful cinematic artifacts I have ever seen.It is in the nature of these things that when watching the film it is quite impossible to think of anything which comes close. After the end titles have rolled, one may begin putting things in perspective, but while you're looking at Żuławski's images, nothing finer can be imagined.Shamelessly theatrical in its design, the film
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