2013 Polish Film Festival
The Closed Circuit ( Thursday Nov 7th; 7pm Theatre 2)
Directed by: Ryszard Bugajski
Written by: Miroslaw Piepka,Michal S. Pruski
Cinematography by: Piotr Sobocinski
Music by: Shane Harvey
Principal Cast: Janusz Gajos,Kazimierz Kaczor, Wojciech Zoladkowicz, Maria Mamona, Urszula Grabowska
Inspired by real events, “The Closed Circuit” is a compelling, strongly performed political thriller about greed and corruption in contemporary Gdansk, Poland. As a result of unfair practices of the tax office and justice authorities, three Polish businessmen lose all their possessions and their life's work. Despite being exonerated after several years, they are already ruined, both mentally and financially. This latest film from Ryszard Bugajski (“Interrogation”) has been one of the highest-grossing films of the year in Poland.
Following the screening: Question-and-answer session with Ryszard Bugajski and Maria Mamona
Imagine ( Friday Nov 8th; 7pm, Theatre 2)
2012, Poland-France-Portugal, 105 min, in English.
Directed and written by: Andrzej Jakimowski
Cinematography: Adam Bajerski
Music by: Tomasz Gassowski
Principal Cast: Alexandra Maria Lara, Edward Hogg, Ellie Wallwork, Melchior Derouet, Alix Plancq, Francis Frappat
Ian, a specialist in spatial orientation, arrives at a Lisbon clinic for the visually impaired to teach blind patients navigational skills. Blind himself, he teaches his students to move around without using their white canes, encouraging them to risk the unknown through the use of a complex network of sound cues. In the way he moves, sits, falls down, Edward Hogg gives an outstanding performance of a blind man and creates a person who lives in his own space, somewhere in the crossing of reality and imagination. The film is set against a sunny and lyrical background and depends greatly on the use of sound which, apart from its aesthetic role, forms an integral part of the theme.
My Father’s Bike ( Saturday Nov 9th; 6:30pm, Theatre 2)
Mój Rower, 2012, 90 min.
Directed by Piotr Trzaskalski
Written by Wojciech lepianka. Piotr Trzaskalski
Music byPrzemyslaw Stangierski, Wojciech Lemanski
Principal Cast: Michal Urbaniak, Artur Zmijewski, Krzysztof Chodorowski, Anna Nehrebecka, Witold Debicki
The film portrays complex relationships between three generations of a family: father (played by Polish jazz luminary Michal Urbaniak), son (Artur Zmijewski) and grandson (cinema debut of Krzysztof Chodorowski). The story begins when seventy-years-old Wlodek’s wife unexpectedly leaves him for another a man. His son and grandson arrive from abroad and set off on a journey to find a woman dear to each of them. Although in conflict earlier, forced by circumstances, the three of them have to learn how to talk to one another and eventually find a long-lost bond between them. Owing to a splendid screenplay, this comedy-drama is a uncompromising yet emotional story about the difficult relations between three generations of men and their efforts to avoid their parents’ mistakes.
Baczynski ( Saturday Nov 9th; 8:30pm, Theatre 2)
Written and directed by: by Kordian Piwowarski
Cinematography: Piotr Niemyjski
Music by Bartosz Hajdecki
Principal Cast: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Katarzyna Zawadzka, Ewa Telega, Marta Klubowicz
This is a biographical film about the legendary poet, resistance fighter and Warsaw Uprising soldier Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski. The film is multilayered; it is both a cinematic portrayal and a documentary, with interviews with last few witnesses who knew Baczynski personally and recordings of young poets in Warsaw giving a contemporary interpretation of Baczynski’s poetry and legacy today. It portrays a bitter picture of senselessness of war, but lifts up the immortality and timelessness of art.
Following the screening: Question-and-answer session with Kordian Piwowarski and Anna Piwowarska, who translated the dialogues and Baczynski’s poetry into English.
Baby Blues(Sunday Nov 10th; 3pm Theatre 2)
Written and directed by: Katarzyna Roslaniec
Cinematography by: Jens Ramborg
Principal Cast: Magdalena Berus, Nikodem Rozbicki, Magdalena Boczarska, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Klaudia Bulka, Michal Trzeciakowski
In response to the realization that a growing number of young people around Europe and North America desire to be pregnant and to have children, Roslaniec tells the stylish and confrontational tale of a teenage mother both proud of and plagued by her newborn. “I found that teenagers wanted to have babies because it’s fashionable and cool, but also to have someone to love and love them back,” explained Ms. Roslaniec. Yet the teens’ short attention span and egocentric interests (videogames, drugs, alcohol) are hardly compatible with child rearing.
To Kill a Beaver ( Sunday Nov 10th; 7pm, Theatre 2)
Written and directed by: Jan Jakub Kolski
Music: Dariusz Górniok
Principal Cast: Eryk Lubos, Agnieszka Pawelkiewicz, Mariusz Bonaszewski, Aleksandra Michael
An ex-soldier of a military special unit stationed in Afghanistan returns home from a mission. Surrounded by hi-tech electronic equipment and untamed nature, he prepares for his next secret assignment. His house, however, has a new inhabitant, a teenage girl, who begins to influence the man's performance. He battles constantly with visions of his past, only to discover that his mind is playing tricks on him and he is losing control. Director Jan Jakub Kolski, known primarily as “..the master of Polish magical realism…” here creates an atmosphere that is poetic and brutal, a paean to both man’s inhumanity and the human soul’s need for love. The film will be remembered not only as a turning point in Kolski's filmography, but for its breathtaking performance by Eryk Lubos. To Kill a Beaver actually serves as a monodrama for this amazing actor, who is absolutely distinguished in Polish cinema.
The Vulture ( Monday Nov 11th; 7pm, Theatre 2)
Written and directed by:Eugeniusz Korin
Cinematography by:Arkadiusz Tomiak
Principal Cast: Michal Zebrowski, Daniel Olbrychski, Anna Przybylska, Pawel Malaszynski Miroslaw Baka, Andrzej Grabowski, Piotr Fronczewski, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Dereszowska
Imagine that you had the power to decide people's fates. Who would you condemn, and who would you save? Suddenly, without a trace, people begin to disappear in the center of Europe. The investigation falls to Vulture, a police officer who appears to be devoid of feelings. He is tough, incorruptible, with no obligations and no attachments - until he meets Natasza, a woman unlike any he has ever met. The Vulture begins a dangerous game with an opponent who is always one step ahead. He discovers a world in which people lead double lives, and for the first time his logical thinking drives him into a trap with no way out. Suddenly, the hunter finds himself the prey. Walking the thin line between passion and reason, the world of logic and the world of illusion, he has to decide whether there is something more important than life itself.