The Film (5/5)
Cosmos follows Witold (Jonathan Genet) and Fuchs (Johan Libereau), a pair of young men who decide to stay at a small family run inn, to escape some recent failures in their lives, and work on bouncing back. The inn is run by Madame Woytis (Sabine Azema) alongside her crazed husband Leon (Jean-Francois Balmer), with some help from their family. There early attempts at relaxation is disrupted when Witold discovers a sparrow hanging from a thread in a path to the woods in the back, and opens up a series of philosophical situations and thoughts.
Cosmos is the final film by Andrzej Zulawski who died soon after the film's release. It would also mark his first release in 14 years. The film is an adaptation of the 1965 novel by Witold Grombowicz. I cannot speak for the effectiveness of the adaptation having never read the book (going to get on that soon), however I will say the film itself is a complex, interesting, and deep experience, and truly a magnificent way for Zulawski to end his career on.
The film at times feels like a chamber drama with a small number of characters and a limited number of locations. While the inn is the primary location, we do get beaches and forests as well. The initial hanging sparrow, leads into other hanging animals throughout the film, what these signify I cannot quite say, but they seem to lead the way into tragedy. The film has a lot of segments that don't add up to a cohesive narrative, but on multiple repeat viewings I could see certain visual queues and dialogue elements coming together to help the film make both thematic and narrative sense on a complete level. As such the film reminded me of the cinematic works Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jacques Rivette.
Kino Lorber presents Cosmos in a splendid 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded Blu-ray. The transfer presented here has immense detail, excellent and stable colors, and accurate flesh tones. Everything here looks fantastic. Audio is presented in a DTS-HD 5.1 track in French. The track is solid with dialogue and score coming through clearly and presenting no issues.
Kino Lorber has put a solid extras package together for the film including a 7 minute introduction to the film with director Zulawski, producer Paolo Branco, and members of the cast and crew. We also get a commentary by critic Daniel Bird. There is a short making of, a video essay, liner notes, and a trailer for the film.
Getting any Zulawski on Blu-ray is awesome in my book, and Cosmos continues his tradition of creating deeply complex and wonderfully weird cinema. It was an excellent film to end his career on, and will be watched and discussed for decades. The Blu-ray from Kino Lorber looks and sounds amazing, and has a nice slate of extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.