A despotic security guard, false accusations and an occidental death in a supermarket. Maciej Żak’s thriller Supermarket reminds of Kafka’s books and Polański’s Cul-de-sac
Still from Maciej Żak's "Supermarket", photo: ITI Cinema
Twenty-year-old Himek (Mikołaj Roznerski) is a talented musician. To earn a living he works as a security guard at a local supermarket. Hoping to help him put his life back on track, his father, the head of security called Jaśminski (Marian Dziędziel) helped him get the job. On New Year’s Eve the store is manic with people bustling around to buy supplies for the special night. The Wareckis, a jeweler (Tomasz Sapryk) and his wife (Iza Kuna) are on their way home when they stop at a random supermarket, which happens to be the one where Himek works. Returning back to their car with a glass of champagne in their hands it turns out that their car battery was stolen. The husband goes back to the supermarket to buy a new one onlt to never return again.
"In form, Supermarket resembles a well shot thriller, but it’s mood […] reminds of Franz Kafka’s books and Roman Polański’s films, especially Cul-de-sac" Jacek Wakar writes for the Polish website Portafilmowy. "When writing the script to the movie, I was most interested by the feeling of security," Maciej Żak said about Supermarket, "A simple supermarket doesn’t scare people nor make them feel unsure. It makes us feel secure, we go in, we buy, we leave. The film shows that the sense of security is a delusion and that evil lurks just around the corner. This is highlighted by the constrast created by the events and the place of the action. Everything takes place in a Word whcih is colourful, happy, typically New Years Eve-like. When looked at from close up, pacts, burglaries and lies come out."
"A supermarket was not an easy space to manage, full of colourful products which create visual chaos," the film’s cinematographer Jan Holoubek says. "Holoubek’s camera", Bartosz Staszczyszyn writes in an article for culture.pl, "leads us into the thick relations between the protagonists. Parts of the movie are shots stylized after images produced by industrial cameras that follow the footsteps of every store visitor throughout the 24 hours."
"I wanted to incite emotions, make a thriller that will move by telling a story that can happen to anyone." Maciej Żak said about his film, "There are a lot of elements in the story that anyone can refer to: anyone can be unjustly accused, anyone can ‘go crazy’ from power." His film was well received by Polish critics. "Supermarket is proof of the progress made in the production of Polish thrillers." Grzegorz Kłos writes for Witualna Polska. "This is Żak’s best and most mature film." Jacek Wakar writes for Portal Filmowy.
In October 2012 for his role as the domineering boss Marian Dziędziel won Best Actor in the International Competition at the 49th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey. Talking about his role, the actor said "I try to defend all my roles, even the one in Wojciech Smarzowski’s The Dark House . In this film I a stepfather, a husband but more than anything a horrible prosecutor who hasn’t changes since communist times." "Maciej Żak gives Marian Dziędziel another role which perfectly suits him and he provides the viewer with the opportunity to impartially judge the story because he doesn’t put judgment on things but shows everything." Anna Bielak writes for Interia.
Maciej Żak is a graduate of the directing department of the Śląsk University in Katowice. He started off as a documentary filmmaker and has created several musical spectacles, series, TV programmes, video clips and commercials. His feature debut, the romantic comedy Ławeczka / Little Bench [editor’s translation] received the public award at the Kazimierz Film Festival in 2004 and was nominated to the Gdynia Golden Lions award. In 2008 he made the comedy Rozmowy nocą / Night Talks [editor’s translation].
Supermarket comes to cinemas cross Poland on the 25th of December 2012.
- Supermarket, Poland 2012. Script and directing: Maciej Żak. Cinematography: Jan Holoubek, set design: Ewa Skoczkowska, costumes: Katarzyna Lewińska, music: Mariusz Szypura, sound: Marcin Matlak, Kacper Habisiak, Marcin Kasiński, editing: Jarosław Pietraszek. Cast: Mikołaj Roznerski (Himek), Marian Dziędziel (Jaśmiński), Wojciech Zieliński (Jarzyna), Izabela Kuna (Bogusia Warecka, Michał’s wife), Tomasz Sapryk (Michał Warecki), Przemysław Bluszcz (supermarket manager), Mateusz Janicki ("Nerwus"), Maciej Łuczkowski (Madeja), Justyna Schneider (Kasia), Robert Wabich (Warchulak), Sławomira Łozińska (Wanda, Himek’s mother). Production: St. Lazare Film Studio, Coproductiona: Cezar 10 Sp. z o.o., The Chimney Pot, Panavision Polska, Dreamsound, Luks Film. Distribution: ITI Cinema.
Sources: based on the article by Bartsz Staszczyszyn for culture.pl
Editor: Marta Jazowska