AFI Preview April 18-July 2 - page 12-13

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TO KILL THIS LOVE [Trzeba zabi
Tue, Jun 17, 9:20; Mon, Jun 30, 7:30
What was
it like to be
young at the
turn of the
1970s in
Poland? While
Neil Armstrong
lands on
the moon,
Magda and Andrzej discover love and life in a big city. They
didn’t get into to the university—quotas are restricted mainly
to working class families. They are young, ambitious, dream
of independence and have no means of reaching their goals
without entering the mean, conformist reality surrounding them.
Does the end justify the means? A love story set against the
harsh backdrop of the communist regime.
DIR Janusz Morgenstern; SCR
Janusz Glowacki; PROD Jerzy Buchwald. Poland, 1972, color, 92 min. NOT RATED
THE PROMISED LAND [Ziemia Obiecana]
Sun, Jun 29, 6:00
“I have nothing, you have nothing, he has nothing. Taken
together we have just enough to build a major factory.” Three
friends—a Polish nobleman, Karol Borowiecki; a German, Max
Baum; and a Jew, Moritz Welt—shrink from nothing, including
treachery and fraud to build their empire. But ruthless business
tactics and an ill-fated affair leave Borowiecki with a choice:
either change his ways or sacrifice all compassion in order to
protect his financial capital. In the footsteps of Dickens, Andrzej
Wajda paints a bleak picture of 19th-century Łód
, a chaotic
city littered with dangerous factories and devoid of true culture.
DIR/SCR Andrzej Wajda, from the novel by Władysław Stanisław Reymont. Poland, 1975, color,
179 min. In Polish, German, Yiddish and Russian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Independent of Reality: The Films of Jan Nemec
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
April 24–June 29
Co-presented with the National Gallery of Art
April 19–28
Co-presented with the National Gallery of Art
ASHES AND DIAMONDS [Popiół i diament]
Thu, Apr 24, 7:15; Sat, Apr 26, 7:30
Andrzej Wajda’s early masterpiece is set on the last day
of World War II and the first day of peace. And between
them, a night that changes everything. In the eyes of Maciek
(Zbigniew Cybulski), an idealistic young Polish resistance
fighter, the incipient Communist regime does not represent the
hopes and dreams he and his brothers in arms have been
fighting and dying for. FIPRESCI Prize, 1956 Venice Film
DIR/SCR Andrzej Wajda; SCR Jerzy Andrzejewski, from his novel. Poland, 1958,
b&w, 103 min. NOT RATED
kopis znaleziony w Saragossie]
Sat, May 3, 7:15; Sun, May 4, 5:15
In Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, two enemy officers
form an uneasy truce at a deserted Saragossa inn as they
pore over a mysterious book recounting the amazing tales of
Alphonse van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski), a Walloon officer
who came to Spain in 1739. A multitude of stories flows
from the fantastical tome, variously including two Moorish
princesses with their sights set on van Worden, a Cabalist, a
sultan and a band of gypsies; raconteurs all, they in turn relate
evermore ancient stories to van Worden about forbidden love,
ghosts and magic. Championed by Luis Buñuel, The Grateful
Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Francis Ford Coppola, this film is
a mind-blowing cinematic experience.
DIR Wojciech Has; SCR Tadeusz
Kwiatkowski, from “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa” by Jan Potocki. Poland, 1965, b&w,
182 min. NOT RATED
INNOCENT SORCERERS [Niewinni czarodzieje]
Sun, May 11, 9:45; Mon May 12, 7:15
While a student in the Łód
school, Jerzy Skolimowski (having
just recently co-written KNIFE IN THE WATER) co-wrote
INNOCENT SORCERERS with Andrzej Wajda. A love story
and a portrait of young Poles in the 1950s, this film tells the
tale of two people meeting in a bar. They don’t care about
the future; their lives seem to consist of going out, playing
jazz and having love affairs with no strings attached. The
night begins for them with a seemingly simple scenario—from
small talk to bed. But as dawn approaches, what starts as
an insignificant episode grows in meaning. Jazz score by
Krzysztof Komeda (ROSEMARY’S BABY), who also appears
in a cameo.
DIR Andrzej Wajda; SCR Jerzy Andrzejewski, Jerzy Skolimowski. Poland,
1960, b&w, 87 min. NOT RATED
[Sanatorium pod Klepsydr
Sat, May 17, 5:30
Magic, dreams, a manor in decay. THE HOURGLASS
SANATORIUM is one of the most original and beautiful films
in Polish cinema—a visionary, artistic, poetic reflection on the
nature of time and the irreversibility of death. The screenplay
is an adaptation of the fantasy fiction of Jewish author Bruno
Schulz, one of the most renowned Polish prose stylists of the
20th century. Reflections on the Holocaust were added to the
movie, reading Schulz’s work through the prism of his death
during World War II. Jury Prize, 1973 Cannes Film Festival.
SCR Wojciech Has, from “Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass” by Bruno Schulz. Poland,
1973, color, 124 min. In Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew and Latin with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, May 25, 7:00; Mon, May 26, 7:00
A big country wedding in 19th century Poland: people
talk, drink, dance and flirt. An intellectual from a big town
has come to marry a simple country girl; families and
friends from both sides regard the alliance with skepticism
and curiosity. Unexpectedly, something uncanny begins
to permeate the celebrations. Some of the guests see
mysterious ghosts, while hidden grudges, complexes and
yearnings step out of the hidden corners of their souls.
Andrzej Wajda’s brilliant film adaptation of Stanisław
ski’s celebrated play teases out the fault lines in civil
society, all set to lively country music. Silver Seashell, 1973
San Sebastian Film Festival.
DIR Andrzej Wajda; SCR Andrzej Kijowski, from
the play by Stanisław Wyspia
ski. Poland, 1973, color, 106 min. NOT RATED
CAMOUFLAGE [Barwy ochronne]
Sun, Jun 1, 8:45; Mon, Jun 2, 9:30
An ironical and
absurd comedy
set at a university
summer school
camp. The
shallowness and
cynicism of the
academic milieu
becomes apparent
through the
relationship between
a young linguistics
professor, Jaroslaw,
and his diabolical senior colleague, Jakub. “All people are
conformists just like you and I,” exclaims the latter, protesting
against the liberal teaching approach of Jaroslaw. Krzysztof
Zanussi presents the deeply troubling premise of academic
conformity with witty humor. The film won three top awards
at the 1977 Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, even as it was
summarily banned by the Polish government.
DIR/SCR Krzysztof
Zanussi. Poland, 1977, color, 100 min. NOT RATED
Sun, Jun 8, 6:00
A naïve and sincere young man, Witold, must come to
terms with the reality of the world. He dreams of climbing the
Himalayas, just as his father had done before him. His skill in
mathematics earns him a job in an international trade company,
but he soon finds the position grating and his progress thwarted
by his own candor. Frustrations mount and personal losses grow
as Witold becomes disillusioned with the world’s false choices
in Krzysztof Zanussi’s powerful drama. Jury Prize and Prize of
the Ecumenical Jury, 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Krzysztof
Zanussi. Poland, 1980, color, 98 min. NOT RATED
Sun, Jun 8, 8:00; Tue, Jun 10, 9:15
In this classic bildungsroman, a young man from a provincial
town comes to the capital to study physics, hoping that science
can answer his questions. He explores the boundaries of
knowledge while tackling universal life experiences—love,
death, friendship, fatherhood and work. Krzysztof Zanussi’s
protagonist struggles against the futility of a life constantly
overshadowed by death. However, in the face of defeat, he
rejects nihilism and resignation to his fate in favor of a simplistic
view of life: fragile but treasured. Golden Leopard, FIPRESCI
Prize and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, 1973 Locarno Film
DIR/SCR Krzysztof Zanussi. Poland, 1973, color, 92 min. NOT RATED
MAN OF IRON [Człowiek z
Sat, Jun 14, 7:30; Sun, Jun 15, 6:15
A masterful story about the limitations of the press, coupled with
real footage of the Solidarity movement strikes, Andrzej Wajda’s
MAN OF IRON expands on the plot of its predecessor, MAN
OF MARBLE. The film examines the events leading to one of
the most crucial historical events of the 20th century. The movie
was produced in haste at the express wish of the shipyard
workers with the use of their own archives to support the strike.
It features, among others, future Nobel Prize Winner and Polish
President Lech Wał
sa as himself, and captures the passion,
tragedy and anxiety of the times. Palme d’Or and Prize of the
Ecumenical Jury, 1981 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR Andrzej Wajda; SCR
Aleksander Scibor-Rylski. Poland, 1981, b&w/color, 153 min. RATED PG
50th Anniversary! New 35mm Print!
Sat, Apr 19, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Apr 20, 8:30
mec’s conviction that a
director must create “a personal
style” and “a world independent
of reality as it appears at the
time” was already evident in his
first feature-length film, which
follows the escape of two young
concentration camp prisoners
through the woods of Sudetenland and the ensuing pursuit
for them. Moving freely between the present, dreams, and
flashbacks, N
mec employs an aesthetic of pure cinema to
depict the state of the distressed human mind.
from the story “Darkness Casts No Shadows” by Arnost Lustig. Czechoslovakia, 1964, b&w, 63
min, 35mm. In Czech and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Preceded by:
A LOAF OF BREAD (1960) and MOTHER AND SON (1967)
ky na dn
Sun, Apr 20, 11:10 a.m.; Mon, Apr 21, 7:20
A manifesto of the Czechoslovak New Wave, this anthology
of five short films by five rising directors is based on a book
by celebrated writer Bohumil Hrabal. Absurdist in style, with a
heightened attention to the individual, Hrabal’s work broke with
the socialist realism that dominated the era. N
mec’s story ("The
Imposters" [Podvodníci]) is the simplest stylistically, chronicling
two elderly men who share stories of their illustrious life careers
while spending time together in a hospital. Ultimately they
reveal themselves to be masters of the art of embellishment.
mec, V
ra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš, Jirí Menzel, Evald Schorm. Czechoslovakia, 1966,
b&w, 107 min. In Czech and Romany with English subtitles. NOT RATED
ní hovory s matkou]
Mon, Apr 28, 9:00
After his return from exile, N
mec delved immediately into
filmmaking. Unlike his generational peers, he did not rely on
existing structures and began producing films independently.
Experimenting with digital video formats, this counterpart to
Kafka’s “Letter to Father” finds the director probing his own
psyche in the form of a confessional dialogue with his long-
deceased mother. N
mec turns a fish-eye lens on himself and
his birthplace of Prague to create an experimental personal
essay film, an “autodocumentary,” which the jury at Locarno
International Film Festival recognized with a Golden Leopard
for the best video film in 2001.
mec. Czech Republic, 2001,
b&w/color, 68 min. In Czech with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Preceded by:
“There are many revelations in the ‘Masterpieces of Polish Cinema’ series and, whether you’re familiar with some of these
films or not, it’s an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish cinema, on the big screen in
brilliantly restored digital masters.” –Martin Scorsese
Milestone Films, in association with The Film Foundation, presents this series of feature films from some of Poland’s
most accomplished and lauded filmmakers, spanning the period from 1957 to 1987. Curated by Martin Scorsese,
each film has been digitally re-mastered and brilliantly restored to newly subtitled DCPs. The program was created
and organized by Scorsese’s non-profit organization, The Film Foundation. All notes courtesy of Milestone Films. All
films in Polish with English subtitles except where noted. For information on films screening at the National Gallery
of Art, visit
The Polish organizers of the series are J
drzej Sabli
ski of DI Factory, and Jacek Sosnowski of Propaganda Foundation along with Maciej Molewski of Cyfrowe
Repozytorium Filmowe. These three worked in cooperation Kino RP, Tor Studio Filmowe, Zebra Studio Filmowe and Studio Filmowe KADR. In cooperation with Janus
Films. Generous support was provided by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland; the Polish Film Institute and the honorary patronage
of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC; the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa; the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in
New York; the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles; the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Montreal; the Consulate General of the
Republic of Poland in Toronto; and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Vancouver.
AFI Member Passes will be accepted at all screenings.
Following its U.S. series premiere at BAMcinématek, AFI Silver and the National
Gallery of Art proudly present the films of Jan N
mec, a key figure in the Czechoslovak
New Wave, though one whose films haven’t received the same international attention
as those of his contemporaries such as Milos Forman, Jirí Menzel and V
ra Chytilová.
The screenings presented by AFI Silver Theatre are part of a touring retrospective of
Jan N
mec films, Independent of Reality: The Films of Jan N
mec, in North America,
premiered by BAMcinématek in New York. The retrospective is produced by Comeback
Company, curated by Irena Kovarova, and organized in partnership with the National
Film Archive, Prague, Aerofilms, and Jan N
mec-Film. Film notes courtesy of Irena
Kovarova. For more information on the North American tour of this retrospective, visit For films screening at the National Gallery, visit
AFI Member Passes will be accepted at all screenings.
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of National Film Archives
Courtesy of Jan Nemec-Film
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of Milestone Films
Courtesy of Milestone Films
1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11 14-15,16
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