SEASON I

Program 01 15.10.05
Program 02 22.10.05
Program 03 29.10.05
Program 04 05.11.05
Program 05 12.11.05
Program 06 19.11.05
Program 07 26.11.05
Program 08 03.12.05
Program 09 10.12.05
Program 10 17.12.05
Program 11 25.12.05
Program 12 07.01.06
Program 13 14.01.06
Program 14 21.01.06
Program 15 28.01.06
Program 16 04.02.06
Program 17 11.02.06
Program 18 18.02.06
Program 19 25.02.06
Program 20 04.03.06
Program 21 11.03.06
Program 22 18.03.06
Program 23 25.03.06
Program 24 01.04.06
Program 25
08.04.06
Program 26 15.04.06
Program 27 22.04.06
Program 28 29.04.06


SEASON II

Program 01 14.10.06
Program 02 21.10.06
Program 03 28.11.06
Program 04 04.11.06
Program 05 11.11.06
Program 06 18.11.06
Program 07 25.11.06
Program 08 02.12.06
Program 09 09.12.06
Program 10 16.12.06
Program 11 23.12.06
Program 12 30.12.06
Program 13 06.01.07
Program 14 13.01.07
Program 15 20.01.07
Program 16 27.01.07
Program 17 03.02.07
Program 18 10.02.07
Program 19 17.02.07
Program 20 24.02.07
Program 21 03.03.07
Program 22 10.03.07
Program 23 17.03.07
Program 24 24.03.07
Program 25 31.03.07
Program 26 07.04.07
Program 27 14.04.07
Program 28 21.04.07
Program 29 28.04.07

 

Julita Wójcik
Pust' wsiegda budiet' solnce
2004, 10:41 min., (video, color, sound).

Julita Wójcik’s installations, environments and actions, which she defines as “everyday performances in real time”, are exceptional, consistent explorations on the theme of the commonplace, the banality of life.

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson

Przygoda Czlowieka Poczciwego
The adventure of a good citizen

1937, 10 minutes
(
music by Stefan Kisielewski, b/w, sound, 35 mm, Warsaw)

The Eye & The Ear
1944-5, 10 minutes
(b/w, sound, 35 mm, London)


Most prominent among these pioneer filmmakers were Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, whose 3-minute film, Pharmacy (Apteka), in 1930 was the first successfully completed avant-garde film in Poland. The experimental techniques of the Themersons' films, evolving out of their improvisations with the "photogram" from 1928 to 1935, emphasized the movement of light and shadow over objects. Most of the images were made on an improvised animation stand, enabling them to place various objects on a piece of translucent paper over a sheet of glass, lit from above, and to animate them by filming from below one frame at a time. Shot in 35mm, the film was lost during the war. What is shown in this retrospective is a four-and-a-half-minute version recreated in 2001 by American artist Bruce Checefsky on the basis of surviving stills, notes, storyboards, and press descriptions of the lost original. Checefsky, director of the Reinberger Galleries at the Cleveland Institute of Art, had already been doing experimental work with photograms when he discovered the Themersons' work at an extensive exhibition in Warsaw. He shot his film in Budapest in collaboration with the award-winning animator and film writer Laszlo Revesz.The Themerson's second film, Europa, made in 1931-32, attempted to find purely visual correspondences to the text of the poem Europa by the futurist poet, Anatol Stern, in which he evoked mounting social tensions and another looming world war. The fifteen-minute and completely silent film had become a cult movie among film lovers in Poland by the time Hitler invaded, when it, too, was lost. Europa found its own rescuer in 1988 when a young filmmaker named Piotr Zarebski made Europa 2, interweaving surviving stills from the original with his own footage shot on the streets of Lodz, and this time adding an actor's voice-over reading Stern's poem.These attempts to play with light, as in Pharmacy, or to create a filmic equivalent of verbal poetry through images alone, as in Europa, were all part of a general exploration in search of a truly filmic language.Two commissioned films, one promotional and one educational, afforded the Themersons the luxury of getting paid to pursue their animated-photogram techniques from Pharmacy. But these films, too, were destroyed. The Themerson's last film made in Poland - in 1937 - is the most significant Polish avant-garde film from the 1930s to survive the war. The Adventure of a Good Citizen (Przygoda czlowieka poczciwego) is an 8-minute, mostly live-action surrealist burlesque with a notable score by Stefan Kisielewski. It is fairly evident that a young Roman Polanski might have seen it at the Lodz Film School and found in it some of the inspiration for his renowned 1958 student film, Two Men and a Wardrobe.Rounding out this retrospective of the Themersons' work, two films are included which they made in London during the war, sponsored by the Polish Government-in-Exile. Calling Mr. Smith (1943) is an innovative anti-Nazi propaganda film that juxtaposes images of pure visual beauty with shocking documentary footage to dramatize the intentional destruction of Polish society. Ironically, the film is said to have been banned by the British government for its inappropriately anti-war tone.In The Eye and the Ear (1944-45) the Themersons were able to return to their quest for a purely filmic language, this time for a visual equivalent to music. Through a variety of means (including the ripple effect of clay balls dropped into water), they create visual interpretations of four songs by Karol Szymanowski, with lyrics by Julian Tuwim, as sung by Sophie Wyss. Though scarcely known, The Eye and the Ear is regarded as an outstanding example of abstract cinema.

Program 4 November 05, 2005

 

Screening in collaboration with the Polish Institute in Rome.

www.istitutopolacco.it

Julita Wójcik
Pust' wsiegda budiet' solnce
(2004) 10 minuti, 41 secondi.


Franciszka e Stefan Themerson

Przygoda Czlowieka Poczciwego
(The adventure of a good citizen
)
1937, 10 minutes
(
music by Stefan Kisielewski, b/w, sound, 35 mm, Warsaw)

The adventure of a good citizen is a surrealist burlesque that later inspired Roman Polanski’s “Two Men and a Wardrobe.” The film is the most significant Polish avant-garde cinematic work from the 1930s to survive to the present time.


The Eye & The Ear
1944-5, 10 minutes
(b/w, sound, 35 mm, London)

“The Eye and the Ear” is a collection of four visual interpretations of songs by Karol Szymanowski (music) and Julian Tuwim (lyrics), sung by Sophie Wyss. The film is one of the best, but simultaneously lesser known, examples of abstract cinema in the history of this genre.

*** We thank the National Film Archive of Warsaw and The Archive of Lux in London for having provided the Themerson films. A special thanks to Anna Jagiello.***