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4 out of 5 stars

The experimental Polish director Andrzej Zulawski's final film is typically energetic and strange

Tom Huddleston

Time Out says

The Polish director Andrzej Zulawski, who died of cancer in February, was one of the most relentlessly inquisitive and idiosyncratic human beings ever to step behind a movie camera. His films were ferocious, ambitious and often ridiculous (1981’s berserk marriage-drama-with-tentacles ‘Possession’ is perhaps his best known). Zulawski’s swansong, ‘Cosmos’, is no different – entrancing, frustrating and utterly singular. 

It’s a modernised adaptation of Polish author Witold Gombrowicz’s 1965 novel, in which a pair of well-off young men arrive at a small-town hostel to spend a few days. There, they encounter mysteries – a sparrow hanging from a tree, a noose around its neck; a scorch mark on a wall. The pair decide to mount a kind of artistic, intellectualised investigation. 

As with all of Zulawski’s work, ‘Cosmos’ is essentially unclassifiable, and attempting to summarise it is a fool’s errand. But it is, at times, astonishingly beautiful – the closing credits sequence alone is lovelier than some entire movies. If self-aware, ultra-arch arthousery isn’t your bag, give it a miss. If you’re looking for a good, weird, often very funny time, don’t miss it.

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 19 August 2016
  • Duration:103 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Andrzej Zulawski
  • Screenwriter:Andrzej Zulawski
  • Cast:
    • Sabine Azéma
    • Jean-François Balmer
    • Jonathan Genet
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