This waltz around the fringes of physical truth provides the guiding steps of an unlikely masquerade - which fittingly culminates in Karol leading the populace in a 'salto' and gives the film its original Polish title. The word denotes a rhythmic dance movement and is a useful way to consider Konwicki's piece, which glissades around the town taking in the sights and exploring the stories of its denizens. The evisceration of Poland's historical identity during the war is evident in more than one of the characters: Gustaw Holoubek plays Karol's host, who struggles to remember if the two know one another; Wlodzimierz Borunski claims to be a famous Jewish actor named Blumenfeld but his conviction wavers. This is perhaps due to Cybulski's needling, which can be read as jocular or accusatory, his arrival in the town (and departure, suggestive of a cyclical future) frame him as a catalyst of sorts.
His motivations remain clouded, however, and Konwicki playfully eludes to this when Cybulski offers his shades to the audience, a tantilising invitation to comprehend the world through his eyes. The reason for all of the underlying uncertainty is doubtlessly allegorical, but it might also be explained by theories of what precisely the town is. One character suggests that all of the residents are dead - is this perhaps an unofficial sequel to Ashes and Diamonds? - and this dazed purgatory makes for a compelling interpretation, mirroring one potential reading of the director's debut, The Last Day of Summer (1958). Or perhaps such context is unnecessary, and it's best to enjoy Jump purely as a dance with identity and reality, and Cybulski the Premier danseur noble destined to lead it for eternity. He'll certainly look cool doing it.
The 13th Kinoteka runs from 8 April - 29 May. The full 2015 programme, ticketing details and more can be viewed at kinoteka.org.uk. You can follow our coverage here.
Ben Nicholson | @BRNicholson