Patrick Bokanowski  

Unique and talented artist that creates shorts involving striking and artistic superimpositions, distortion effects, and magnificent use of colors and lights. His first few movies are thematic, nightmarish and surreal creations that can be experienced as dreams and these are reviewed here, but his later creations focus more on the technical and artistic visual experimental aspects rather than on capturing a dream.


Déjeuner du Matin  
12 minute short depicting early morning activities through a drugged haze, distortions and dark filters, creating a dreamlike, slightly nightmarish, eternal, surreal vision of sunrise. A child plays, the farmer collects hay, a man with a distorted face shaves, the hazy breakfast table, running through fields as the sun rises, vision slowly becomes clearer, lighter, etc. all mixed with carefully designed colors and distorted cinematography.

Woman Who Powders Herself, The  
The most perfect capture of a dream-nightmare on film I have ever seen. The mixture of hazy, shallow-depth cinematography with various distortions, the people wearing grotesque faces blending into drawings that make it impossible to figure out if they are real or animated, the visuals that may or may not be saying something about society's rituals, pressures and fear of discovery, the segues, repetitions, atmosphere and bizarre sound all masterfully combine to create a pure waking dream. An amazing 15 minute short and, like Lynch's Eraserhead, a debut masterpiece never to be repeated.

Of Some Interest

Angel, The  
Bokanowski expands his talented dream-like art to a full-length movie with disappointing results. The movie is basically a collection of shorts that move from room to room to setting, each with its strange occupants wearing bizarre life-like masks and performing various activities, each with their own visual imagery, effects, sounds and colors that go with the room's theme. There's a striking nightmarish stairwell, a man practising his swordsmanship on a doll hanging in the middle of the room, a woman serving an old man without hands and a repeatedly falling pitcher, a comical man taking a bath and dressing backwards, bookish men buzzing around a library, very surreal scenes of frantic men running with a battering ram towards a naked woman enclosed in a geometric cell, and various other oddities and experiments with light and cinematography, all leading to heavenly figures bathed in light ascending stairs to a scene Bokanowski chose not to include of an angel at the top of the hierarchy. Some scenes are more striking than others, and there is an overuse of freeze-frames that break up the dream-like effect, but the big flaw here is the punishing repetition of repeating imagery repeated repeatedly with minute variations and rhythm. Of some interest for its striking art, visuals and mood but as it stands, it's more of a collage of repetitive visual experiments.

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