No Plot Necessary

DYM
Grzegorz Cisiecki, 2007

Dym, which means “smoke” in Polish, is an enigmatic short film by Grzegorz Cisiecki. It’s about a young man (played by Grzegorz Golaszewski) driven to surreal reverie after turning on a cassette recorder.

We can see different kinds of smoke in the film, but the significance of the title is not fully explained; and I don’t think elaborating the film’s title is the main objective of Cisiecki. Based on what I’ve seen, the idea of Dym is to present a mosaic of a man’s (generally) obscure dreams, and Cisiecki was successful in doing so. Just like Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Dym is a dream on film.

Cisiecki’s film has no definite plot, and it doesn’t need one. Most of Luis Buñuel’s best-remembered films didn’t have any plot at all (e.g., Un chien Andalou, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). Considering the film’s narrative aspect, Dym is like a lovechild of Andrzej Zulawski and Buñuel. But Cisiecki has a style of his own; he jumps from one scene to another without losing the audience, not even once.

Golaszewski’s dreamy face complements the ethereal atmosphere of Dym. He is like a fragile boy lost in one of his phantasmagorias, and you can’t help but feel concerned about him. Dym has one of the most intricate frames I’ve ever seen. The camera composition is almost flawless. Dawid Rymar’s sumptuous cinematography makes Dym look like a beautifully filmed dream. Though not usually present in the film, Aleksandr Porach’s music exudes a haunting aura.

If you’re a big fan of films that spoon-feed its audience, then Dym is not for you. Dym is one of those films that challenges its audience to think. Some scenes made me ask if the people in Edgar’s dreams (e.g., the fat man and even the girl) are his symbolization of his own self. As an aspiring filmmaker, I consider Cisiecki’s Dym as one of the most insightful films I’ve ever seen.

Dym, a film by Grzegroz Cisiecki:

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