Jerzy Skolimowski born
Director, actor, and painter Jerzy Skolimowski was born May 5, 1938. A colleague of key Polish directors such as Andrej Wajda and Roman Polanski, Skolimowski, who has directed over 20 films, never attained their level of fame, but his intriguing films, dealing with the complexities of identity within the geopolitics of modern life, have never lost their relevance. After co-scripting Polanski's Knife in the Water in 1962, Skolimowski made a series of semi-autobiographical films, including Le Départ, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin, and Deep End, a dark coming-of-age tale set in London and exploring the same swinging underground as Antonioni's Blow-Up, but with a crueler point of view. In 1978, continuing to work in England, Skolimowski made The Shout -- notable for, among other things, being the first film produced by celebrated U.K. producer Jeremy Thomas. Alan Bates plays a mysterious man who insinuates himself into the lives of a young couple. Possessing a chilling ability -- to kill by means of an Aboriginal shout -- Bates' character enabled Skolimowski to explore a radical for the time sound design relying on new Dolby technology. Jeremy Irons starred in 1982's Moonlighting, playing an alienated Polish worker adrift in England as revolution occurs in his homeland. In the '90s and ''00s, Skolimowski worked in film only sporadically, concentrating more on his paintings, which were shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009. But now he is back in the director's chair, in post-production on Essential Killing, the story of a Taliban prisoner transferred for interrogation to London where he escapes. The film stars Vincent Gallo as the prisoner and Emmanuel Seigner.