Innocent Sorcerers

A 22-year-old Jerzy Skolimowski coscripted this minor Andrzej Wajda feature (1960), a modish comedy about a hip young doctor who moonlights as a jazz drummer. The film serves as a fascinating document of Polish youth culture during the least repressive years of the communist era, as well as a rough draft for the freewheeling comedies Skolimowski would soon direct himself (Walkover, Identification Marks: None). Wajda, for all his talent, has never had much flair for comedy, and this feels weirdly studied for a movie about youthful exuberance. But there are passages of genuine spontaneity, especially in an extended confrontation between the hero and a young woman he’s trying to bed; it recalls the famous bedroom showdown in Godard’s Breathless, released earlier that same year. In Polish with subtitles.