It was 2022. The premiere of “Io” directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. Critics’ reactions

After a two-year hiatus, the Cannes Film Festival is back with a boom. This year’s main competition includes Jerzy Skolimowski’s latest film, “Io,” which premiered late Thursday night. In the reviews of international critics, it can be read as an “immersive experience” and a risky film experience.

The Cannes Film Festival is known as a prestigious event in the world of cinema. After all, the Golden Palm – the festival’s most important award – is said to be the cinematic equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Literature. 21 films participate in this year’s main competition, including the latest work of 84-year-old Jerzy Skolimovsky, “Io”. This is the sixth film in his production to have a chance of winning the Palme d’Or. In the film The Scream (also known as “The Wrzask”) in 1978, the director was honored with the Grand Jury Prize, and in 1982 the jury appreciated the script for the film “Fuchy”.

The ceremonial premiere of “Io” was held on Thursday evening. On the famous staircase of the Palais des Festivals on the Croisette, there were members of the cast and creative team: Mateusz Kosiukewicz, Sandra Drzimalska, Jeremy Thomas, Michau Demic, Ewa Piaskowska and Lorenzo Zorzola. Only the manager was missing.

Ayo is a story about contemporary Europe from the perspective of a donkey who falls into the hands of different people. Skolimowski came up with Robert Bryson’s “For Luck, Balthasar!” From 1966. The director himself admitted that it was the only film in which he shed a tear. But those who know Skolimowski’s work know that he’s too experienced a filmmaker to get direct inspiration, because “Io” is more a form of homage than an attempt to compete against the famous donkey story. Donkey connects not only the films of Bryson and Skolimovsky, but also his relationship with his first caregiver. In the case of the 1966 movie, it was Maria, in “Io” – Cassandra (played by the very talented Sandra Drzymalska).

After all, “Io” is a very interesting film experience, in which its creator, along with Ewa Piaskowska (writer and co-producer), cuts with typical narrative, to access elements of a naturalistic document, all surrounded by avant-garde aesthetics focused on the film’s visual layer. Skolimowski masterfully navigates between magical realism, environmental sensibility, and surrealism.

Cannes 2022. Premiere of “Io” directed by Jerzy SkolimowskiEnvironmental Protection Agency

Cannes 2022. “Io” is an “immersive experience”

The film has received positive reviews published in the pages of the most opinion-forming media outlets dealing with the entertainment industry.

Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter points out that this streamlined story, told through episodes, “can be an immersive experience.” “It is all due in large part to the wonderful, fun photographs taken by Michał Dymek (as well as with additional photos by Pawe Edelman and Michał Englert) – noted Mintzer. This is one of those films that work best on the big screen in dark cinema with loudness.”

Minzer noted that the episode starring Isabelle Hubert sounded like an excerpt from an entirely different movie: “Some French-Italian family drama depicting a villa, a duchess, and a priest” forced on Ayo. “It doesn’t matter much, but it shows by the scale that Skolimovsky wants to try everything in his last film – the work of an 84-year-old filmmaker, as a freelancer and as an animal who wants to remain free” – summed up Mintzer.

Cannes 2022. “Variety” about “Io” by Skolimovsky

“Legendary Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski gives his view of the classic Robert Bresson, using a donkey to refer to people who abuse animals and nature,” said Peter Debruge in Variety. The critic noted that “giving an animal a name becomes much more difficult than sending it to a glue factory.”

Io, according to Debruge, is “a damning debate about our relationships with other intelligent species used as cheap labour, food, and companionship—as evidenced by the teary eyes of a donkey that we quickly begin to love.”

“Although Skolimowski and co-writer Ewa Piaskowska feature a lovable animal as the embodiment of innocence, practically every scene reveals just how evil the world’s guardians are: there are savage anarchists, vile factories, primitive smugglers, and ruthless fox herders for fur” – we read. According to a critic of “Variety,” Skolimowski showed courage in writing the entire film in such a precarious manner, “but sometimes it’s hard to see what just happened or how poor ass went from one scene to the next.”

Cannes Film Festival 2022. “Insistence as a Film Champion”

‘The Guardian’ film critic Peter Bradshaw admitted he’s not sure if ‘Io’ is Skolimowski’s favorite movie, but he’s “engaged in many ways: beautifully illustrated, emotional and surreal in equal measure, but also stubborn – here stubbornness is the hero – in with its symbolism and pure pessimism.”

The critic notes “Io is an all-time watcher, and his inherent humility and dignity rise above human vanity and greed.” “Just having Io on screen is amazing – the animal isn’t acting, it’s himself. Maybe we humans fool ourselves into thinking we can transform ourselves through acting or some other art. Skolimowski asks us to think about it. Notwithstanding. There is something sweet in this film, it is touching and expressive ”- he concluded.

From left: Mateusz Kosiewicz, Sandra Drzimalska, Jeremy Thomas and Mishaw DemicPAP / EPA / SEBASTIEN NOGIER

CAN 2022 – Strong competition in the main competition

The head of the jury of the main competition of the year is the French actor Vincent Lyndon, who played one of the main roles in the film “Titane” by Julia Ducornu (the film won the Palme d’Or last year). Besides him, the judging panel included: Rebecca Hall, Deepika Padukone, Naomi Rapas, Yasmine Trinca, Asghar Farhadi, Ladge Lee, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier. Knowing their achievements and their perspective on cinematography, you can expect unclear judgments at the festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday, May 28.

Skolimowski’s movie has very strong competition. Because for the Palme d’Or are the regular members of the French event, such as Robin Ostlund (the Palme d’Or winner in 2017), Kurida Hirokazu (the Palme d’Or in 2018), and David Cronenberg (the winner of the Palme d’Or in 2018). Special Jury Prize in 1996), Arnaud Despelchin, two-time Palme d’Or laureates, the Dardenne brothers and Christian Mungiu (Palm d’Or winner 2007). But young filmmakers and directors such as Lukas Dhont, Saeed Roustaee and Léonor Serraille present strong competition.

author:Tomas Marcin and Rona

Main image source: PAP / EPA / SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Leave a Comment