Innocent Sorcerers


1h 26m 1960

Brief Synopsis

A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes out to see some friends and then rushes madly around the city after her, only to find she has returned.

Film Details

Also Known As
Niewinni Czarodzieje
Release Date
1960
Production Company
Zespol Filmowy
Location
Poland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

A young bachelor doctor is torn between committing to his fashion model girlfriend and the problems of his single and aimless male pals.

Film Details

Also Known As
Niewinni Czarodzieje
Release Date
1960
Production Company
Zespol Filmowy
Location
Poland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Articles

Innocent Sorcerers - Andrzej Wajda's INNOCENT SORCERERS on DVD


Celebrated Polish director Andrzej Wajda was already pushing toward more youthful themes in the last of his war trilogy, Ashes and Diamonds. In that picture about the immediate post-war environment, young Zbigniew Cybulski is a rather anachronistic late-50s hipster with an Elvis hairdo and giant JKF sunglasses. 1960s Innocent Sorcerers is a freewheeling "young men on the town" tale of a jazz group who work days and play the clubs at night. Cybulski this time is the best friend of the leading character, a cocky young sports doctor grown tired of easy access to female companions.

Synopsis: Bazyli (Tadeusz Lomnicki) has it made. A recent medical school graduate, he has a tiny pad of his own right in town and rides a scooter to his arena job, where he spends his days checking out amateur boxers and fending off a small harem of female admirers. He and his pals constitute a jazz ensemble and enjoy enormous popularity at a competitive concert; jazz is the current rage in Warsaw. Drummer Bazyli flirts with a reporter (Kalina Jedrusik) who makes it clear she's interested in a date. He brushes her off as well as his old girlfriend Mirka (Wanda Koczeska). Then Bazyli's best pal Edmund (Zbigniew Cybulski) asks his help in cornering a dreamboat he's spotted in a club. They manage to separate her from her date, and Bazyli accompanies her to the train station only to find she's missed her train. The girl is Pelagia (Krystyna Stypulkowska) and her secret is that she plays hard-to-get. She easily counters Bazyli's attempts to control the situation. Bazyli is fascinated and surprised when she accompanies him back to his apartment. During the course of the night, they play flirtatious but innocent games, and the rogue male Bazyli finds himself hooked in a way he never thought possible.

Warsaw is still a wreck, but Bazyli and his hipster elite couldn't have it better. The lucky employed youth with money to spend cram into the clubs, and a breezy jazz musician is a key target for every ambitious girl in sight. Bazyli's pals are a band of nosy lay-abouts that can be depended on to show up and make a racket in the courtyard below his window; they're not unlike Federico Fellini's wastrels in I Vitelloni. A young Roman Polanski plays one of them.

A boxer examined by Bazyli is played by the screenwriter (and soon-to-be director) Jerzy Skolimowski, a talent known for the cult film Deep End as well as Moonlighting; he also acts occasionally, as in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! where he plays the loony professor with the translating machine. Many of Skolimowski's films as a writer are about loneliness and alienation, forces deeply felt in Innocent Sorcerers. Bazyli knows he's practically the coolest guy in town, with women practically throwing themselves at him. He behaves like a cad with Mirka and takes down the journalist's number, only to throw it away as soon as she's gone. Only when something comes along that he can't have for the asking, does he realize how lonely he is. Rather like Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, we share Bazyli and Pelagia's unexpected night together and watch him rediscover his emotions.

It's an intriguing 'first date.' Pelagia is a bit of a coquette but never a tease; she's quick to demonstrate that she's his intellectual equal, apparently having run up against plenty of guys too quick to decide a quiet girl is a dumb one. Bazyli plays it as honestly as he can, mainly because Pelagia is too clever to give him easy-to-read signals.

The showdown comes when the pair somehow gets into a game of tossing a matchbox in the air, and trying to make it land balanced on one of the smaller sides. Without either party forcing the issue, it becomes a dare, and then a game of "strip matchbox." Bazyli is an early loser but rallies, revealing cracks in Pelagia's impressive show of nerve. Bazyli could easily win but Pelagia has stirred something deeper in him. Later, as dawn comes up, Bazyli realizes that he's fallen asleep. Pelagia is gone, and he feels the kind of panic that only someone desperately in love can feel. Bazyli starts a frantic search in the empty streets ...

Innocent Sorcerers captures a certain bohemian state of existence in Warsaw that may have lasted only a few years, if that long; Wajda and Skolimowski's film is obviously aimed at recording a particular 'scene' before it slips away. We're taken by the essential innocence of the young men and women alive in a new world far removed from the wartime fears and horrors of their parents' experience. It doesn't matter that the streets are grim and gray, or that Bazyli's bachelor pad is a miserable hole in the wall with cracked plaster and cheap, broken furniture. They're free and young and on their own, and what could be better? Innocent Sorcerers is a positive experience.

It's also a great place to hear the work of one more major contributor to Polish filmmaking at this time, composer Krzysztof Komeda. He was known in America only briefly as Roman Polanski's composer on Cul-de-Sac, Rosemary's Baby and the beautiful The Fearless Vampire Killers before his untimely early death in 1969. Komeda's jazz music gives Innocent Sorcerers a special life, forming an interesting contrast with the cobble-stoned streets. He plays himself briefly in the movie. We also hear a great club singer named Slawa Przybylska.

Polart Video and Facets Multimedia's DVD of Innocent Sorcerers is a marginally adequate but disappointing presentation. The product provided was a test disc. The film is rare and we're grateful for the chance to see it, but the indifferent transfer isn't very flattering. It appears to be a PAL conversion, annoyingly sped up from 24 to 25 frames per second. Fast dialogue becomes a staccato chatter. Also, the image exhibits an odd speed adjustment every few seconds, a flaw that repeated on two players. I hope it doesn't appear on the final product, or there will be a lot of returns. Someone needs to tell Polart Video that the DVD market expects higher quality. Carefully remastered imports from other companies are priced much lower.

As on all Facets releases there are no extras, so this reviewer doesn't know if an insert or liner notes are included. We're very glad we saw the film and may watch it again, but will keep our eyes out for an improved release.

For more information about Innocent Sorcerers, visit Facets Multimedia. To order Innocent Sorcerers, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
Innocent Sorcerers - Andrzej Wajda's Innocent Sorcerers On Dvd

Innocent Sorcerers - Andrzej Wajda's INNOCENT SORCERERS on DVD

Celebrated Polish director Andrzej Wajda was already pushing toward more youthful themes in the last of his war trilogy, Ashes and Diamonds. In that picture about the immediate post-war environment, young Zbigniew Cybulski is a rather anachronistic late-50s hipster with an Elvis hairdo and giant JKF sunglasses. 1960s Innocent Sorcerers is a freewheeling "young men on the town" tale of a jazz group who work days and play the clubs at night. Cybulski this time is the best friend of the leading character, a cocky young sports doctor grown tired of easy access to female companions. Synopsis: Bazyli (Tadeusz Lomnicki) has it made. A recent medical school graduate, he has a tiny pad of his own right in town and rides a scooter to his arena job, where he spends his days checking out amateur boxers and fending off a small harem of female admirers. He and his pals constitute a jazz ensemble and enjoy enormous popularity at a competitive concert; jazz is the current rage in Warsaw. Drummer Bazyli flirts with a reporter (Kalina Jedrusik) who makes it clear she's interested in a date. He brushes her off as well as his old girlfriend Mirka (Wanda Koczeska). Then Bazyli's best pal Edmund (Zbigniew Cybulski) asks his help in cornering a dreamboat he's spotted in a club. They manage to separate her from her date, and Bazyli accompanies her to the train station only to find she's missed her train. The girl is Pelagia (Krystyna Stypulkowska) and her secret is that she plays hard-to-get. She easily counters Bazyli's attempts to control the situation. Bazyli is fascinated and surprised when she accompanies him back to his apartment. During the course of the night, they play flirtatious but innocent games, and the rogue male Bazyli finds himself hooked in a way he never thought possible. Warsaw is still a wreck, but Bazyli and his hipster elite couldn't have it better. The lucky employed youth with money to spend cram into the clubs, and a breezy jazz musician is a key target for every ambitious girl in sight. Bazyli's pals are a band of nosy lay-abouts that can be depended on to show up and make a racket in the courtyard below his window; they're not unlike Federico Fellini's wastrels in I Vitelloni. A young Roman Polanski plays one of them. A boxer examined by Bazyli is played by the screenwriter (and soon-to-be director) Jerzy Skolimowski, a talent known for the cult film Deep End as well as Moonlighting; he also acts occasionally, as in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! where he plays the loony professor with the translating machine. Many of Skolimowski's films as a writer are about loneliness and alienation, forces deeply felt in Innocent Sorcerers. Bazyli knows he's practically the coolest guy in town, with women practically throwing themselves at him. He behaves like a cad with Mirka and takes down the journalist's number, only to throw it away as soon as she's gone. Only when something comes along that he can't have for the asking, does he realize how lonely he is. Rather like Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, we share Bazyli and Pelagia's unexpected night together and watch him rediscover his emotions. It's an intriguing 'first date.' Pelagia is a bit of a coquette but never a tease; she's quick to demonstrate that she's his intellectual equal, apparently having run up against plenty of guys too quick to decide a quiet girl is a dumb one. Bazyli plays it as honestly as he can, mainly because Pelagia is too clever to give him easy-to-read signals. The showdown comes when the pair somehow gets into a game of tossing a matchbox in the air, and trying to make it land balanced on one of the smaller sides. Without either party forcing the issue, it becomes a dare, and then a game of "strip matchbox." Bazyli is an early loser but rallies, revealing cracks in Pelagia's impressive show of nerve. Bazyli could easily win but Pelagia has stirred something deeper in him. Later, as dawn comes up, Bazyli realizes that he's fallen asleep. Pelagia is gone, and he feels the kind of panic that only someone desperately in love can feel. Bazyli starts a frantic search in the empty streets ... Innocent Sorcerers captures a certain bohemian state of existence in Warsaw that may have lasted only a few years, if that long; Wajda and Skolimowski's film is obviously aimed at recording a particular 'scene' before it slips away. We're taken by the essential innocence of the young men and women alive in a new world far removed from the wartime fears and horrors of their parents' experience. It doesn't matter that the streets are grim and gray, or that Bazyli's bachelor pad is a miserable hole in the wall with cracked plaster and cheap, broken furniture. They're free and young and on their own, and what could be better? Innocent Sorcerers is a positive experience. It's also a great place to hear the work of one more major contributor to Polish filmmaking at this time, composer Krzysztof Komeda. He was known in America only briefly as Roman Polanski's composer on Cul-de-Sac, Rosemary's Baby and the beautiful The Fearless Vampire Killers before his untimely early death in 1969. Komeda's jazz music gives Innocent Sorcerers a special life, forming an interesting contrast with the cobble-stoned streets. He plays himself briefly in the movie. We also hear a great club singer named Slawa Przybylska. Polart Video and Facets Multimedia's DVD of Innocent Sorcerers is a marginally adequate but disappointing presentation. The product provided was a test disc. The film is rare and we're grateful for the chance to see it, but the indifferent transfer isn't very flattering. It appears to be a PAL conversion, annoyingly sped up from 24 to 25 frames per second. Fast dialogue becomes a staccato chatter. Also, the image exhibits an odd speed adjustment every few seconds, a flaw that repeated on two players. I hope it doesn't appear on the final product, or there will be a lot of returns. Someone needs to tell Polart Video that the DVD market expects higher quality. Carefully remastered imports from other companies are priced much lower. As on all Facets releases there are no extras, so this reviewer doesn't know if an insert or liner notes are included. We're very glad we saw the film and may watch it again, but will keep our eyes out for an improved release. For more information about Innocent Sorcerers, visit Facets Multimedia. To order Innocent Sorcerers, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in Poland December 17, 1960

b&w

dialogue Polish

Released in Poland December 17, 1960