Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)

Dwaj ludzie z szafa (aka Two Men and a Wardrobe) is political analogy, a student film, and a small masterpiece.

Two men appear from the sea. They are carrying a large wardrobe. They wander through a sea side town unable to find accommidations. They are rejected by all those they encounter, though their wardrobe does provide a small service to one or two people along the way. In the end, the two men and the wardrobe return to the sea; rejected.

What makes this analogy of intolerance so remarkable is that it was made by Polanski while he was still a young, maturing filmmaker. The film is confidently composed and framed in a style the evokes both the comedies of Keaton and Chaplin as well as the surreal collaborations of Dali and Bunuel. By keeping his short films silent, Polanski relies on action and symbolism to speak where his characters do not. In this way, his work often says more than the chattiest student films.

Today, it is extremely rare to find a student film of this caliber. Students today are too fearful and immature to tackle politics and they are too reliant on glib conversations and clever lines, often poorly delivered.  Here, Polanski attempts to make a statement about the cruel nature of humanity. He does it without cheap visual trickery, flashy editing, or twist endings. He does it simply with the power of cinema.


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