One day, an ordinary clerk – the “good citizen” – happens to hear someone say on the phone: “The skies won’t fall in if you start walking backwards!” He takes these words, said actually to two men carrying a wardrobe, as a command and thus sets off for an unusual journey through the city. His irrational conduct provokes a public outcry – he is forced to flee protesters with banners: “The skies will fall in!” and “Down with walking backwards!” Sitting on a chimney and playing the flute, the good citizen comes up with a brief comment: “One need’s to get the metaphor right, Ladies and Gentlemen!”.
Imbued with the spirit of Witold Gombrowicz, the film was produced at the Film Authors Cooperative (SAF), founded by the Themersons, with the main role played by the actual SAF’s accountant, Antoni Drążkowski. Introduced as an “irrational humoresque”, the film relied on a variety of artistic means, including transformed shoots of actors, lyrical fragments filled with abstract luminous reflections, and painted effects added directly onto the film stock.
References: M. Giżycki, Awangarda wobec kina. Film w kręgu polskiej awangardy artystycznej dwudziestolecia międzywojennego, Warsaw 1996; Stefan i Franciszka Themerson. Poszukiwania wizualne, exhibition catalogue, Łódź 1981.
Source: 35 mm
© LUX and Themerson Archive
Ownership form: deposit