Polish director Andrzej Zulawski’s final film adapts Witold Gombrowicz’s novel Cosmos
, about a disquieting and occasionally absurd holiday. Two young French men — both failures — take lodgings at a family guest house near the sea. The inhabitants are cheery but odd — the middle-aged mother is prone to paralytic fits, her older husband is given to lengthy reminiscences sprinkled with mangled words. The two visitors become obsessed with the maid, who has a deformed lip; the beautiful daughter of the proprietor; and a series of mysterious omens in the back garden, such as pieces of wood and dead birds hung from strings. They frequently take their musings to the beach, where it only ever seems to rain. The film is a darkly comic ramble, with a purposefully choppy structure, soliloquies and non sequiturs, and a theatrical archness — very much an example of “European art film,” if you enjoy that sort of thing.
In French, with subtitles. Fri., Aug. 12, through Mon., Aug. 15. Melwood Screening Room.