Review: Songs About Love

– Polish Tomasz Habowski’s first feature film is tender and poetic, like any love song

Justyna Święs of Songs About Love

Songs About Love recently won the Polish competition at the Mastercard OFF CAMERA Independent Film Festival in Krakow (April 29-May 8). Having now found an international distributor, the film is considering an international tour. Made by Newcomers Tomasz Habowski, the film has caused a stir since its first release at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. Low-budget film (it was made under the “microbudget” program of the Polish Film Institute), in black and white and with a non-professional actress in one of the two main roles, the film won hearts by audiences, critics and judges, and won a major award in the low-budget competition. This beautiful little film, which exudes the natural and energetic atmosphere of the French New Wave, is pure joy to watch.

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The story was inspired by the director’s experience after leaving a small town to settle in Warsaw. The characters are from two different worlds: Robert (Tomasz Wlosok) is a young man from a privileged background, son of a famous actor. He tries to break through as a musician, but his life in the city, easy and pleasant, seems to occupy him more than his work. Alicia (Justyna Swies, a popular indie pop singer), on the other hand, has an incredible work ethic and works hard as a waitress to make ends meet. He has many talents, whether he is a singer or a singer. Robert falls under his spell and wants to monetize his talents, not realizing that some things don’t sell.

Songs About Love clearly a tender love story, which is not classic, because the characters are not on the same wavelength. Alicja, who likes a fairy tale princess, has a quality or gift (think Arielle’s voice in The little mermaid), not waiting for Prince Charming. He has a job and a purpose. He didn’t need a beautiful dreamer driving him crazy. Although she needs her job and the money it brings, she doesn’t want to sell her talent, her voice or her person. So if Habowski’s film is really a fairy tale, it is one that criticizes capitalism that eats up real talent and juicy contracts that can be a deal with the devil, which also reflects the career of Habowski’s father. Robert.

Does it remind you of something? Maybe, but Habowski’s talent and good taste make everything seem new. He doesn’t judge Robert or his hipster friends. Rather, it defines their way of life, moving from one night and one “project” to another, protected from the most mundane and base material difficulties of life because of their privileges. If one of the themes addressed here is class confrontation, it is non-violent.

Overall, everything about this movie is delightfully subtle and exquisitely beautiful, including the close, intimate shots of the cinematographer. Weronika Bilska (which also works on my beautiful life [+lire aussi :
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e by Łukasz Grzegorzek), the music of Kamil Holden Kryszakand the restrained acting of Tomasz Włosok and Justyna Święs as well as the supporting roles (Patrycja Volny, Andrzej Grabowski and Małgorzata Bogdańskato recite none other than them).

The film is a production of Marta Szarzynska and Kinhouse Studio. Gutek Film is the Polish distributor, and international sales are handled by Outsider Pictures.

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(Translated from English by Karine Breysse)

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