The Devil Lands on the Moon in Sci-Fi Movie Based on Polish Legend
no-image, The Devil Lands on the Moon in Sci-Fi Movie Based on Polish Legend
Twardowsky, a brand new release by Oscar-nominated director Tomasz Bagiński, revolves around a nobleman who signs a deal with the Lord of Darkness...on a lunar base.
Those familiar with Bagiński’s work will recognize the filmmaker’s style; he is currently working on a sci-fi series based on traditional Polish folk tales. The first and previous short, called Dragon, has been praised for its breath-taking visuals, and Twardowsky is certainly equally impressive.
The Eternal City
According to legend, Twardowski was a nobleman and doctor who lived in Kraków. One night he summoned the devil and made a pact with him, using his own blood to sign their contract. The deal stated that the Devil would serve Twardowski in exchange for his body and soul, however these could only be collected in Rome. Thanks to this arrangement, the nobleman gained great wealth and led an adventurous life, his only concern being to avoid the Eternal City. The party ended when he was deceived into stopping by an inn called Rome. There Twardowski was taken to space by his business partner. The devil eventually left the nobleman stranded somewhere between the moon and earth, where he remains to this day. Thus goes the legend of Sir Twardowski, one of Poland’s most popular folk tales as penned by the 19th century writer and folklorist Kazimierz Władysław Wóycicki.
The uniqueness of Bagiński’s take lies primarily in its pop-culture appeal. The film’s narration brings to mind comic books, the soundtrack includes popular songs Zegarmistrz światła and Wszystko ch… 2 and most of the action takes place in a futuristic lunar space base that would not look out of place on a Star Trek film set. Twardowsky presents a significant departure from the characters, the setting and the action of the original tale. In the film, the main character doesn’t get tricked into visiting the place of his doom, but instead draws the devil to his cosy moon base, hoping to renegotiate their deal. Hell’s emissary arrives as a beautiful, tattooed woman and a curious meeting takes place between the two contracting parties. We’ll stop there in order not to spoil the fun, but we can guarantee that the film is worth watching in its entirety for the special effects alone.
Twardowsky is part of Polish Legends, a series retelling several traditional Polish legends in an up-to-date fashion. Initiated by the auction website Allegro, the project premiered in November last year. It includes several short stories by talented Polish authors as well as another sci-fi film by Bagiński, Dragon, which is a take on the tale of the Wawel dragon that once terrorized Kraków. Twardowsky itself premiered a little after the launch of Polish Legends, in December. The main parts in this movie are played by debuting actress Aleksandra Kasprzyk and Robert Więckiewicz, a well-known actor who portrayed the legendary Polish leader Lech Wałęsa in Andrzej Wajda’s biographical movie Wałęsa: Man of Hope. Bagiński himself is a successful film maker; he directed the Oscar-nominated animated short The Cathedral and the BAFTA-winning Fallen Art. He is currently working on a full-length film about Geralt of Rivia, the acclaimed Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy character, the hero of the immensely popular The Witcher video game series. Both Twardowsky and Dragon are available with English subtitles for public viewing.
Author: Marek Kępa, January 2016