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Glass Lips

2.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

GLASS LIPS (2007) A kaleidoscope of surreal, emotionally provocative, and powerfully resonant imagery; in Glass Lips, contemporary artist, Lech Majewski, explores a hidden human frontier where memory, madness, and imagination meet. Banished to an asylum, a traumatized young poet relives his tormented childhood in a cascade of wordless images and tableaux. Imprisoned in a lifelong bedlam presided over by an abusive father and a passively seductive mother, the poet uses his ebbing sanity as a means of escape. The parochial cruelty the young poet endures and the transporting beauty he assays entwine into pungent layers of narrative (New York Times) that assault the unconscious and challenge preconceived notions of what is right and wrong, real and known. Acting as writer, director, composer, and photographer, Majewski contrasts the biblical with the baroque and the sublime with the profane to create an aesthetic of dysfunction that s as beautiful as it is disturbing. (New York Times). Composed of thirty-three short films entitled Blood of a Poet, Glass Lips opened the 2006 Lech Majewski Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A year later, the Venice Biennale presented it on multiple screens, prior to the theatrical release in the feature form offered here.

Special Features:

- Biography of Lech Majewski
- Presented in 5.1 Stereo Surround

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Patryk Czajka, Grzegorz Przybyl
  • Directors: Lech Majewski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001A33YUO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,394 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Glass Lips is ostensibly a Polish film but there is no dialogue. Unquestionably, I would have to say that it is one of the most unusual films I ever saw in my life. I also find it difficult to put Glass Lips into a genre because it is so unlike most movies. It is an art film or more accurately, it could be called art in the form of a film.

The story is a jumble of short clips that take place at various times and we slowly learn about the past and present. A young man is in an insane asylum and we see him imagining things that are his own creations or reminders of his past. His parents were on the strange side and passed on to their child the kind of behavior that can get one locked up in a bedlam. Although his father was not physically abusive, he had bizarre ways of punishing him that were all part of his father's past. We also see segments of his parents' personal history that is unlikely he actually witnessed. It may take some watching and re-watching to sort out what events are actual and which are imagined.

Although I am no means an expert on Lech Majewski's films, I have to say there are some similarities between Glass Lips and another film I saw by Majewski, Roe's Room. The style and feel are similar, which can simplistically be described as highly unusual and artistic. Both also use actors without much or any film credits to their name.

Glass Lips is like stepping into a world of imagination and bizarre fantasy. If you have an appreciation for visual art or theater, there is a chance Glass Lips may appeal to you but I suspect it is not a movie that most people will enjoy.
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Format: DVD
Wordless, yet artful `Glass Lips' is sure to please the art crowd with exquisite camera shots and its symbolic thrust. Not as evocative as 'Syndromes and a Century,' but easily more accessible, the movie mulls over the process and fallout of one father's abuse. While the series of short films don't entirely tell a linear story, the threads are meticulously woven to give a composite picture and a concrete ending.

Written, directed, shot, and produced by Lech Majewski, this Polish film mostly ponders the relationship between Sebastian (Patryk Czajka) and his abusive father (Grzegory Pryybyl). Instead of showing scenes of beating, yelling, and mental abuse, the damage is mostly implied antecedently.

In an early scene a young Sebastian knocks over a beverage glass during dinner, prompting his father to restrain his son with a dog collar and leash as he eats his meal doggy style out of a dish placed on the floor. In later scenes the boy engages in bizarre behavior, but as we see him as an adult, he's confined to a sanitarium shown in several scenes. In contrast his father is free with a calloused, carefree attitude toward women in a way that suggests they're interchangeable for him. Many of the vignettes, illustrate Sebastian's repressed sexuality as he's shown in confinement and in frozen meat lockers.

Among the most tangible elements is its religious imagery. Making easy references to "Abraham and Isaac" as well as Jesus's Passion, his inner anguish is given a visible context.

One of my favorite moments is when he's at the mental hospital while looking at a picture of a mountain.
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Format: DVD
Lech Majewski's Glass Lips (2007) debuted as an instillation piece at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It's original title was Blood of a Poet, paying homage to Jean Cocteau's 1930 film. Surreal, kaleidoscopic, and predominantly silent, Glass Lips feels like a series of interrelated shorts literally forming a "motion picture."

Sebastien (Patrick Czajka) is the poet in question in this painterly film, which begins with his birth atop a towering rock. The sound of the infant wailing, his umbilical cord dangling, is the only one we hear from his lips. This image later connects to a waterlogged dream of his mother (Joanna Litwin) giving birth to a bloodied rock.

Maternal inertia is the dominant pigment used in painting Sebastien as the scourged poet. One striking image calls to mind early photographs of artist Andres Serrano (when Serrano actually counted). The sensual, nude mother, clothed only in pathos, glides by row after row of slaughtered hogs. The Serrano image, so striking and, for some reason, long unavailable, showed the image of Christ (a young, blonde woman, dressed in a short, black nightclub dress) before the swine (the hog's bloodied torso hanging from a hook in the ceiling). Paradoxically, iconoclastic and liturgical metaphors repetitively intertwine in Majewski's parochial bedlam.

The suffering mother is forced to witness her only son's humiliation by a severe, unyielding father (Grzegorz Przybyl). The mother seeks to both nurture and be nurtured. She is not milked and can no longer can provide milk. Therefore, she baptizes her naked body, as Sebastien witnesses. For the father, mother is not fully human. She is merely a hole for his convenience. She is, at first, replaced by a blow-up doll.
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