Camera Buff (1980)
Camera Buff Photos
as Filip Mosz
as Anna Wiodarczyk
as Piotrek Krawczyk
as TV Producer
as TV Director
Critic Reviews for Camera Buff
Much of the film means to be uproariously emotional, but the events we see seldom justify all the overwrought reactions.
While Camera Buff lacks some of the artistry evident in the director's later projects, it's worth seeing not only as an example of Kieslowski's early work, but as an important film in its own right.
Suffused with Kieslowski's dry wit and intelligence, this early feature provides an excellent introduction to his work.
Kieslowski lays the foundation of robust realism and takes off in a search for transcendence
A modest metaphorical examination of the problems and pressures suffered by artists in semi-authoritarian societies, the picture won the grand prize at the 1977 Moscow Film Festival.
Audience Reviews for Camera Buff
First, a warning: "Camera Buff" has nowhere near the stylized atmosphere of later Krzysztof Kieslowski films such as "Red," "Blue" and "The Double Life of Veronique." Kieslowski's first feature is about overcast mornings, gray walls and functionally lit rooms, and the musical score barely exists. The cast is almost as colorless. "Camera Buff" can be classified as a satire, but it's too bleak to have any real laughs. Filip Mosz is a vulnerable man with a dull factory job and a habit of hiccupping when nervous. His wife is about to give birth. To document his child's life, he splurges on a film camera. Then his boss hears of the purchase and hires him to shoot the plant's upcoming anniversary celebration -- even though Filip is an obvious novice (the film's Polish title strictly translates as "Amateur"). Complications escalate from there. His movie (which is not portrayed as anything impressive) is shown at a small festival and inspires further projects. But as his footage begins to show too much grim reality, the local Communist Party develops concerns and his boss presses him to make edits. Since the boss helps fund him, these objections can't be brushed off. Meanwhile, Filip's risky new obsession increasingly exasperates his wife and may ruin their relationship. The film is a bit overlong and has a slow middle, but the last act packs a powerful message. This includes an unexpectedly touching moment with a handicapped man seeing himself on television -- there is nothing so sentimental elsewhere in the story, and the emotional tug comes purely from the look in the actor's eyes. Beautiful work. And the final scene is perfection. Director (and Kieslowski colleague) Krzysztof Zanussi makes a short appearance as himself, inserting some philosophy about filmmaking ethics during a presumably unscripted symposium. The line between drama and documentary blurs here. "Camera Buff" takes aim at both Communist bureaucracy and the new-sensation hype that dependably drives the movie industry. "A film director once joked that he was a civil servant," a TV executive tells Filip. "Actually, he was right."
What a fantastic film about the artist's journey and the desire for something more than mere "tranquility." While this is my first Kieslowski film, this seemed to be a good place to start as it illuminates Kieslowski's own passion and perfectly encompasses the power & consequences of film. While I would have liked to see more about the effects on the protagonists home life, it is none the less a powerful film. I am very excited to check out the rest of the director's work.
Remarkably insightful film by Kieslowski on film making, family and the affect art has on the world.
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