The good news — MovieMail has a sale on ‘World Cinema’ which includes Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds and Roman Polanski’s Polish feature Knife in Water (for a knock-down £4.99) as well as Jiri Menzel’s Czech New Wave film, Closely Observed Trains that we’ll be looking at in Week 3. If you enjoyed the opening to Liebelei, you might also enjoy Luchino Visconti’s sumptuous melodrama Senso, also in the sale, set in Northern Italy under Austro-Hungarian rule in the 1860s.
The overall picture in terms of getting to see films associated with the course is a little sketchier. My preferred option is to use the rental service from Lovefilm/Sofa Cinema. They are showing Ashes and Diamonds as available and, intriguingly, the other two films in the trilogy as being ‘awaiting release’. This can mean anything, but they may be coming. An alternative is to buy Region 1 versions of these titles and the easiest way to do this may be to use either Amazon (the UK site will sell US discs) or Play.com. You’ll need a multi-region DVD player to watch the discs, but with these sites you can pay in sterling (one tip, buy only one item per order under £18 or you could face import duties).
If you are puzzled about which titles/directors you want to search for, the best current DVD distributor of Polish, Czech and Hungarian films in the UK (especially for 1960s/70s films) is Second Sight, but it’s website is currently not very helpful. However, if you try the other websites and use their search engines and recommendations, you’ll quickly get a sense of what is available.