TRICKS has won awards at festivals around the world, including the Europa Cinemas Award at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, the Best Film award at the 2007 Polish Film Festival, and was Poland’s entry for this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Film. With its uncanny evocation of childhood and childhood emotion, the film is widely regarded as the best Polish film for some years.
Set in a sleepy provincial town at the height of summer, the film has a deliberately small canvas: a boy Stefek, his teenage sister Elka, their mother who runs a grocery store, a photo of their father and a train station. From this Andrzej Jakimowski manages to create a personal universe from which he has made a delightful, bittersweet and comic film.
Stefek is convinced that the man boarding a train every morning at the same hour is his father, who had left home before he was born. Elka has suffered too much from her father's abandonment and doesn't wish to hear about him. Elka has taught Stefek how to bribe fortune through tricks to make it go in the direction he wishes, and the boy's obsession is to find a way to bring his father back to his mother. Helped by two figurines of soldiers, he feels empowered enough to make it happen. Stefek provokes fate and fiercely tries to organize events in order to make his wish come true, with touching and poetic results.
Tricks is now available on DVD and VOD
Jakimowski's subsequent feature was the segment entitled "The Bag" in "Solidarnosc, Solidarnosc" (Solidarity, Solidarity) (2005). This was followed by 2007's "Sztuczki " (Tricks) which was selected as the Polish Oscar entry for 2007/2008. "Tricks" confirms Jakimowski's status as one of Poland's most accomplished up-and-coming contemporary film-makers. The film has won awards at more 20 festivals and has been distributed in about 30 countries—it premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival where it won the Label Europa Cinemas prize and Laterna Magica prize, as well as the Golden Lion at the Polish Film Festival. Tricks has also won prizes at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, the Miami International Film Festival and the Tokyo International Film Festival where Damian Ul won Best Actor, amongst others.
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1991 Pogłos (Echo) - short
1994 Miasto cieni - documentary
1998 Dzyń, dzyń - documentary
1998 Wilcza 32 - documentary
2003 Squint your Eyes – feature
2005 The Bag – episode in Solidarnosc,Solidarnosc
2007 Tricks (Sztuczki)
Written and directed by......ANDRZEJ JAKIMOWSKI
Produced by......ANDRZEJ JAKIMOWSKI
Production Manager......MARIUSZ MIELCZAREK
Music by......TOMASZ GĄSSOWSKI
Art Direction......EWA JAKIMOWSKA
Sound Editing......CHRISTOPHE WINDING
Production......ZJEDNOCZENIE ARTYSTÓW I RZEMIEŚLNIKÓW
Co-production......WYTWÓRNIA FILMÓW DOKUMENTALNYCH I FABULARNYCH, TELEWIZJA POLSKA S.A., CANAL+ CYFROWY, OPUS FILM, SUPPORTED BY THE POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
COLOUR – 96 MINUTES - DOLBY SRD – 1.85 - POLAND
HOMELESS MAN WITH A HANDCART......Andrzej Golejewski
TIPSY MAN WITH BRIEFCASE......Krzysztof Ławniczak
GIRL IN THE BAR......Katarzyna Kołeczek
★★★★"Engaging and warmly authentic coming-of-age movie that avoids sentimentality."
"A minor gem"
Amy Simmons, Time Out DVD release
‘...it has an easy charm
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
In this week’s TIME OUT Critics’ Choice
“Bathed in summer light, ‘Tricks’ offers a warm portrait of childhood and attributes unusual intelligence and emotional instincts to its subjects
‘It’s a subtle film that gradually lets you into its world.’
Dave Calhoun, Time Out
‘...riven with wit and fantasy, this engaging rite-of-passage recalls the ease with which Emir Kusturica once located poetry in the everyday.
‘There’s an easy charm to UL’s interaction with Walendziak, reinforced by the lyricism of the photography and score, which deftly reflect Poland’s post Communist identity crisis.’
‘Charming and engrossing with beautifully drawn characters.’
David Parkinson, Empire
Tricks, directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, is a must-see for anyone interested in Polish cinema, children’s films, or just charming, poetry-inflected vignettes of small-town life.’
‘...a film about dreaming, one as sunny and magical as Shane Meadow’s Somerstown – and just as enchanting.’
Sukhdev Sandhu, The Daily Telegraph
‘...so sweet that simply watching it could pile on the pounds.’
Smart, funny and touching, Tricks is a modern rarity – a film with faith in humanity.’
Grant Rollings, The Sun
‘Charm oozes from every frame of Tricks, a lyrical, sun-kissed portrait of the special bond between a young boy and his older sister in a provincial Polish town.’
‘Unfolding with a sharp eye and a light touch...Tricks is a slow -moving poignant salute to family ties and the power of positive thinking.’
Allan Hunter, Daily Express
‘A particular treat for Britain’s homesick Poles
‘In this Golden Lion winner...Andrzej Jakimowski observes these everyday events and humdrum lives with outstanding delicacy.’
‘His (Jakimowski’s) intimate...tale of dreams abandoned, connections not made and things not said evokes such a timeless sense of sun-drenched, small-town life even non-Poles will feel nostalgic.’
'A sunny and evocative tale of a 6-year-old boy's games with chance and search for his lost father. Beautifully made, it reveals a director who genuinely 'thinks' in film, making films that evoke what he describes as "a cinema that has disappeared.'
Peter Hames, Sight And Sound
'The film's real delight is it's 'Stand by Me'-style evocation of childhood space, time and emotion....A small but not inconsiderable pleasure'Wally Hammond, Time Out
‘A very nice surprise...warm, light and carried by the charm of its young actors
‘...realistic yet poetic gem’
“Charming, bittersweet narrative
A fatherless boy tries to tempt fate in "Tricks," a pitch-perfect portrait of working class life in a provincial town -- and of growing up as the much younger brother of an adored older sister.
Compelling performances...give the picture a poignant authenticity, spontaneity and uniqueness.’
Alissa Simon, Variety
‘Beautiful, charming, lively Polish comedy reminiscent of the Czech New Wave.’
‘...enriched by a sense of space and rhythm showing Jakimowski as a master of directing...’
‘It gives it a comic tone as well as a very moving dimension.
‘...fresh, enjoyable and lively...
The bittersweet tone of the movie is also what gives it its charm:
Gregory Valens, The Hollywood Reporter
‘...a real charmer...’
BFI, LFF 2007
Interview by Dorota Hartwich in Cineuropa