A week ago, nine years after shooting, “Short Movie About Skanking” had its premiere. What piece of work is that? – you might ask. Collaboration of Polish pioneer of punk rock and reggae, Robert Brylewski and cinema first of all brings to mind “Polskie gówno” (“Polish shit”) from 2014. Meanwhile, around 2010, Robert left his mark on musical and, as it turns out, also cinematic climate of Sosnowiec, city known for its dynamic ska and reggae scene.
You can remember his collaboration with Ziggie Piggie band, their joint gigs and recordings. As part of these activities, one of band’s founders Sebastian “Stecyk” Steć came up with the idea of creating a movie that would try to reflect the spirit of the local ska scene.. Robert eagerly involved in the project as a co-writer, co-director and one of main actors.
You’ll see many characteristic figures of local scene on the screen, cast in very strange roles. The whole film drips with psychedelic, absurd, and sometimes even serious schizophrenia. That’s how Robert wrote about it in his autobiography “Crisis in Babylon”:
Ultimately, the film will last for half an hour. I’d like it to be like Czech cinema. It’s hard to say anything more, because the script is beeing created as we go. Me and Stecyk are directing, and the narrator is a machine. The idea is based on a conspiracy theory: a company has a cure for the whole human race, but wants to keep it for itself for commercial purposes. Ska virus. Professor Stefan Bator steals it and spreads on his own around the planet. Ska is a colloquial name for an abbreviation ZKA. This virus makes people cheerful, they start to dance.
It must be pointed out that this movie was actually never finished. That’s one of the reasons for its late release and it probably also explains all the chaos in the narrative. Not everything is clear to the viewer, it might not be easy to make sense of this bizarre pulp of scenes and threads. However you can’t deny the creators that they managed to achieve their goal to create a disturbing, ambivalent atmosphere combining, on the one hand, the joy of music and, on the other hand, the dark elements of the reality that surrounds us.
I must also honestly admit that now, more than a year after Robert’s death, this movie gains additional value, and even for sentimental and historical reasons, it’s worth twenty minutes of your time.
Film had its premiere to a large extent thanks to the Gold Rock website devoted to the works of Robert Brylewski. Although there are no english subtitles yet, I still urge you to take a look.
Idea: Sebastian Stecyk Steć.
Screenplay and direction: Sebastian Stecyk Steć, Robert Brylewski
Photographs : Michał Leks, Krzysztof Krakuski, Marcin Wróblewski, Rafał Miciński.
Music: Ziggie Piggie i Robert Brylewski
Starring: Robert Brylewski, Wojciech Gołębiewski, Mikołaj Tabako, Bartosz Mizera, Agnieszka Kwaśniak, Szczepan Łach i inni
Narrator: Krzysztof Krakuski