A man purchases a video camera when his first child is born, but he gets
more than he asked for because he's the only person with a camera in town
Camera Buff (1979)
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Krysztof Kieslowski and Jerzy Stuhr
Starring Jerzy Stuhr, Malgorzata Zabkowska, Stefan Czyzewski, Ewa Pokas, Jerzy Nowak, Tadeusz Bradecki
Camera Buff is a film about filmmaking and how it can affect your daily life. It’s sort of a warning call to people who really want to get into cameras themselves. Krysztof Kieslowski is known as one of the most influential directors from Poland and Europe in general. He could do it all whether it be a documentary, an intense look at domestic issues, or a wacky short. Camera Buff came out early on in his film career and was his first fictional project. He died in the mid 90’s at the age of 54 after suffering a heart attack, but his films will live on forever.
Filip is about to be a father so he buys a new camera to document his child’s life. It’s meant for a hobby on the side as most of his time goes to the factory he works at, but no one else in his town has a camera so his possession of one makes him very valuable. The local Communist Party boss asks him to film an event and he takes it to the next level, even entering it into a festival. Filip gets obsessed and sidetracked by the new opportunities that come with his little 8MM camera. His wife and daughter become second fiddle to his new life of filmmaking. Filip must figure out what’s most important to him while the people around him constantly become subjects for his camera.
Camera Buff is one of the most thought provoking films I’ve ever seen. I have a deep love for films and I often think about why I love them so much or why I carve time out to watch them. I get really excited about sitting on a couch and consuming someone else's ideas being explored through multiple artists. I can’t justify it, but I know I love it. Filip becomes obsessed with filmmaking itself at a time when two people need him. He gradually loses sight of what’s actually important, but he’s finding himself in a way so we are conflicted heavily as the audience. Jerzy Stuhr is absolutely incredible as Filip and Krysztof Kieslowski’s direction is out of this world. He’s putting the art of filmmaking on the fucking block and warning himself at the same time. Camera Buff is a must.