Walerian Borowczyk “Les Jeux des Anges” (1964) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq7ugNkM7Cg&t=611s to watch the movie
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Anges begins with the sound of a train rolling ominously through the blackness. In its destination of grey rooms and metal pipes, headless angels slump or flap helplessly in concrete chimneys, while organ music on the soundtrack is joined by chants originating from concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. Suddenly the somber grey and black colors brighten, classical organ music simultaneously enlivens the tone, and three red objects are quickly covered by a grill, and the first figurative images are shown: headless, winged beings, the head of a 19th-century lady. The rest of the film shows primarily objects within this gloomy machine-world: with sounds like ice or breaking glass, objects seem to be violently beheaded, head objects roll like in a child’s marble games, and shape-shifting organic (and alternately non-organic) matter scuffle like small fighting bodies highly reminiscent of Bacon’s abstract carnal forms. All the while, the organ music, at the same time beautiful, powerful, frightening, and cacophonic, implies dark powerful morbidity and lack of control.
The darkness, however, and the very mechanical figures and environments, seem a unique product of Borowczyk’s personal life alone. The destruction, the violence, the cacophony, can be seen as a critique of the various forms of outside control of Poland, which during Borowcyzk’s life suffered not only a Nazi occupation, but a Soviet occupation, before finally, a short time before the director’s move to France, the People’s Republic of Poland was declared. All three highly repressive regimes in terms of freedom of speech, Borozcyk struggled with his cinematographic expression both in and outside of Poland.
His short Les Jeux des Anges (1964) leave long-lasting impressions and may be the eeriest works in his eclectic filmography. Les Jeux des Anges takes the viewer on a journey by train car through a maze­like subterranean world. The surreal forms and architecture wouldn’t seem out of place on a Max Ernst canvas; a city of small leaking chambers inhabited by amputated angel wings. These clambering subjects and maneuvering images find some form of resolve in the ominous bed of sound created by Bernard Parmegiani. Overall, a strong presence of mortality and decay hangs over both of these films, and though there are bursts of vitality and movement the overshadowing sense of dread is not easily shaken off.
Les jeux des anges, however, shows nothing that is sexually explicit, although the darkness of the music, colors, actions, and figures foresees a violence to come. Despite lack of linearity and the abstraction of the images, a dark philosophical message is evident symbolically identical to his (more linear) animation of the same period, Renaissance (1963) : destroyed objects reconstitute themselves until the final item, a bomb, reconstitutes itself, detonates itself, and renders all, once more, a ruin. In such a way, the morbid world of flesh and mechanics that Borowczyk describes in Jeux des anges is one that reminds us all of the violence and futility of society and life itself.

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