After a break of 16 years, Jerzy Skolimowski returned to cinema with a new film - an intimate love story. The love Skolimowski portrays in Cztery noce z Anną / Four Nights with Anna is gentle, unconditional, and selfless, while also being disturbingly obsessive and dark.
A hospital in a provincial town is the setting for the story of Anna, a nurse (Kinga Preis) and Leon (Artur Steranko) who is in love with her. The woman doesn't even notice her strange admirer. He drugs Anna with sedatives and creeps into her flat at night. As he watches the sleeping woman, he feels joy at the sight of her and at her closeness. Each successive night, he comes nearer to confessing his feelings for her.
Jerzy Skolimowski in Four Nights with Anna is not afraid to ask questions about the nature of love and about the boundaries of 'normal' feelings. The acting duo of Kinga Preis and Artur Steranko create an atmosphere of tension and ambiguity on screen.
The film's cinematrographer, Adam Sikora is known for his pictorial cinematography for the films of Lech Majewski - Angelus and Wojaczek. Four Nights with Anna is a daring and bold picture, and at the same time unusually beautiful.
... Today's films are all from the same mold, repeating the same clichés. What counts are technology, pace, editing cuts, which I can't stand. That's not the way to achieve truth on screen. Truth comes in long, calm shots, when we see what's going on. I don't like it when directors create their reality in the editing room. Contemporary films are like kaleidoscopes: they flood us with images, requiring instant associations, they leave chaos and emptiness in our minds. Chases, murders, sex - all stuck together into one great noise. Meanwhile, people sometimes need calm and a journey into inner depths. And cinema should lead us into this kind of state. That's another reason I'm sure my film will find an audience. (Jerzy Skolimowski in an interview with Barbara Hollender, Rzeczpospolita 7 June 2008)
The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, where it was presented at the opening of the prestigious Quinzaine des Réalisateures section (Directors' Fortnight). The Polish premiere took place in Wrocław at the opening of the 8th Era New Horizons International Film Festival (more information...).
- Cztery noce z Anną / Four Nights with Anna, Poland, France 2008. Director: Jerzy Skolimowski, screenplay: Ewa Piaskowska, Jerzy Skolimowski, assistant directors: Marcin Szczerbic, Leszek Staroń, Sławomir Małyszko, cinematography: Adam Sikora, cameramen: Rafał Paradowski, Tomasz Woźniczka, set design: Marek Zawierucha, costumes: Joanna Kaczyńska, music: Michał Lorenc, sound: Frederic De Ravignan, editing: Cezary Grzesiuk, make-up: Olga Nejbauer, Aleksandra Dutkiewicz, production managers: Andrzej Stempowski, Anne Mattatia, producer: Paulo Branco, Jerzy Skolimowski, production: Skopia Film, Alma Films, distribution: Gutek Film. Cast: Artur Steranko, Kinga Preis, Jerzy Fedorowicz, Redbad Klijnstra, Jakub Snochowski, Barbara Kołodziejska, Małgorzata Buczkowska, Anna Lenartowicz, Urszula Bartos-Gęsikowska, Anna Szawiel, Marcin Jędrzejewski, Zbigniew Konopka, Judyta Paradzińska-Górska, Witold Wieliński. Colour. Length: 101 min. Released on 12 September 2008.
Source: Gutek Film - press release