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Foreign Comedy - Poland- Johnny Aquarius / Jancio Wodnik

BUY Johnny Aquarius (dvd cover)
Franciszek Pieczka, Grazyna Blecka-Kolska, Boguslav Linda
Directed by Jan Jakub Kolski
Polish Television 1993
MGE 2006
Polish with English Subtitles
Distributed by Facets Video
100 minutes

Johnny Aquarius or Jancio Wodnik is an interesting if somewhat puzzling Polish movie heavy on religious overtones and with lots and lots of magic realism or surrealism dependent on the moment. The story of this movie is easy to follow, it is what it all means or what you are supposed to understand that left this viewer somewhat puzzled.

Johnny Aquarius / Jancio Wodnik opens with a man pulling his wagon down a country road singing a song about how nothing means nothing. Cut to an old man, Johnny Aquarius (a very good performance by Franciszek Pieczka) who is asking questions about gravity -and perhaps gravitas-to a young woman hanging upside down. He washes his feet and her feet and when he tosses a bowl of water outside the water goes up the ladder and on his roof. Johnny Aquarius then discovers he can make it rain, a power he will not use for the rest of the movie.  He leaves his wife and goes on the road healing the sick by washing their feet.

There are definitely religious overtones to Johnny Aquarius but many of them escaped me. He does meet a performance artist named Stigma (Boguslav Linda) who can imitate Christ's stigmata and who becomes his right hand man. Meanwhile, Weronka, his pregnant wife (played by Grazyna Blecka-Kolska) awaits his return.

Things get a little weirder after that; their son is born with a tail and Johnny Aquarius spends five years sitting in the same spot trying to turn back time. The horse at the beginning of this Polish language DVD has some kind of meaning that is revealed in the end.

Those who like European or Polish movies that are totally different from your usual Hollywood blockbuster or even from the usual French, British, or Swedish movie will enjoy Johnny Aquarius / Jancio Wodnik. 

Being originally made for TV, the print quality for this art house style movie does have a few nicks and scratches here and there but nothing particularly annoying in the long run. The subtitles are quite decent with few flaws.

Johnny Aquarius / Jancio Wodnick is an interesting little movie.

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