Mammals (1963)

Ssaki (aka Mammals) finds two men wandering about a barren snowscape. For a time, one man pulls a sled while the other fellow sits on the sled plucking feathers from a bird. The tow men trade places. They argue. They have accidents. They fight. Nothing is said. The piece, like most of Polanski’s shorts, is free from dialog. Ssaki is in the spirit of Beckett and Chaplin. It’s absurd theater translated to the silent cinema, but rather than provoke grand thoughts or laughs the film only produces questions. How could Polanski go from making Mammals to making Knife in the Water? The two films feel words apart stylistically.


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