Vanguard // Unrated // $29.99 // March 2, 2004
Review by Don Houston | posted April 1, 2004
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Movie: Most people have seen a movie about the making of a movie at some point in their lives. One of the reasons is simple, screenwriters are told to write what they know about when attending school and many such projects are labors of love for these people from before they got their big break. Off the top of my head, I remember reviewing Burning Down The House, a movie where a producer literally plans arson to finance his newest movie; the far better, and more dramatic Everything For Sale, a movie where the focus is on how changes are made to accommodate outside influences; and Killer Flick, where the premise is for a gang of lunatics to film as they go on a criminal spree across the country. Each of these films looks at the movie-making process with a slightly different view, from the financing to the realities of the process superceding the artistic vision of the artist, and the latest movie in this line of thought is a little known release Kitsch (AKA: Polisz Kicz Projekt).

The movie centers on a director (played by the actual director, Mariusz Pujszo) who decides to con people by making a movie using their money. He charges those that want to audition for a role and then increases the rate for those who want bigger roles. Essentially, he mirrors many of the conmen in our own society that do this, he's just willing to be up front about it. For the record, this has been openly proposed by a few adult movie directors, including Kris Kramski and Jim Holliday, but many involved in the movie world know how some producers do the same thing but sugarcoat it to make it sound more respectable.

Okay, so Mariusz planned to travel to many large cities and hold casting calls in order to make a living. He tells actors and actresses that they have a lot of talent and then browbeats them if they don't follow his plan or resist paying for the exposure the movie will give them. This leads to a number of amusing incidents where the crew is at odds with one another and the cast. The cameraman is a chef, there is no screenplay, and the performers are simply told to improvise. Mariusz tells how he doesn't believe in the formalities of filmmaking, preferring to force the audience to have to pay attention rather than fill in the story with their preconceived notions of what "should" happen. His commentaries on the critics being clueless as they read far more into the movie than he ever intended was a hoot too (I've been congratulated by a few such types in the past who thought I was one of the few to catch on to the inside joke while others read far too much into what they did).

Just as Kariera Nikosia Dyzmy parodies politics and Day Of The Wacko parodies aspects of everyday life, Kitsch (AKA: Polisz Kicz Projekt) parodies the filmmaking process along with those associated with it. Does it succeed completely? No, it doesn't but it hits home as often as not and that alone is reason to like this one as worth a rating of Rent It. Had the themes been more fully fleshed out, I think it would have been worth a higher rating but it was a cute look at the process of making a movie and belies it's title (kitsch=something trashy and lacking artistic merit) more often than not.

Picture: The picture was presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio full frame with some scenes in Black & White and the bulk of the movie in color. There was the usual grain and video noise associated with a low budget release but it actually looked pretty good compared to the previously mentioned titles (all made with far more money). I didn't see any compression artifacts but keep in mind that the whole premise was to use poor technical matters as part of the parody.

Sound: The audio was presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround Polish with optional English subtitles. There wasn't a lot of separation between the channels, making me believe the 5.1 track was added later as a production issue (like many Vanguard releases) but the vocals were clear in all cases and sounded like you were there.

Extras: The extras included a music video, a photogallery, and outtakes from the movies under the subheadings of, underwear, strip tease, sauna, dressing room, bedroom, and Jacuzzi. For the most part, the entire movie was an outtake and these deleted scenes added little entertainment value (more nudity might've helped) but they were better than nothing.

Final Thoughts: Kitsch (AKA: Polisz Kicz Projekt) is a twisted look at those in the film industry as well as those that want to want to break into said industry. It was an amusing rental that was well worth the cost of admission, despite the limitations of the format. If you're looking for a lighthearted look at the movie industry, Kitsch is as independent, and on target, as you'll find.

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