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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

Conference Fascinations: Poland

Each year we focus on mapping experimental and underground film landscapes of some Eastern European country. After Ukraine in 2019, we will turn our attention to Poland. Particularly since the seventies, Poland had a strong and influential experimental cinema, which notably originated at the Łódź Film School.

film database

A Cube of Sugar
This compelling portrait of a racehorse consists of the precisely defined coordinates of its horizon: landscapes imbued with rich greenery, palms with sugar, an obstacle, a bridle, a leap, and a fall. The atmospheric film, shot at the Velká Pardubická cross-country steeplechase run, tells its tragic story through a changing colour spectrum and depth.
personal program

A Cube of Sugar

Jacek Bławut
Poland / 1986 / 9 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Czech Premiere
A New Book
In a simultaneous collage of static shots, a screen split into nine fields shows us fragments from the lives of several protagonists, focusing on the space between the bookstore, cafe, apartment, bench, subway, and bus. The soundtrack skilfully weaves snippets of dialogue together with double bass improvisation.
personal program

A New Book

Zbigniew Rybczyński
Poland / 1975 / 10 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
A Square
An in-depth, film analysis of a series of photographs depicting the human body in motion, which Rybczyński manually "digitised" by repeatedly photographing, dividing, and overlapping individual fields with white and black squares and later adding colour filters to depict a fierce dance in jazz rotation.
personal program

A Square

Zbigniew Rybczyński
Poland / 1972 / 4 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Czech Premiere
ABC
The individual letters of the Polish alphabet, carefully pronounced in their phonemic form, gradually parade across a white background. They alternate with the black screen of the oscillograph, which is intersected by a trembling line and whose oscillations represent the phonetic realisation of every letter.
personal program

ABC

Janusz Polom
Poland / 1974 / 2 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Article Zero
This film has a 500 limit of views.“There’s no set design. This is not a feature film. We are simply collecting material for sociologists and lawyers.” The film’s commentary emphasises the authenticity of the voyeuristic footage found from a police station where cops took prostitutes into custody after a night raid in the streets and slums of Warsaw. Formally and in terms of content, the most radical film of the Polish black film series bears witness to a phenomenon in which a paragraph was missing in the Civil Code.
personal program

Article Zero

Włodzimierz Borowik
Poland / 1957 / 16 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Erotique
In a space made out of newspaper and defined by a mirror’s reflection, a surreal tension is felt between a girl on the run, who daydreams while dusting off a mirror, and a stranger who suddenly emerges from the depths of the space to amuse, frighten, and perhaps even win.
personal program

Erotique

Jerzy Skolimovski
Poland / 1960 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Exercises for Two Hands
Footage shot simultaneously by Robakowski using two cameras attached to his arms play side-by-side on a split-screen. Controlled by his arbitrary arm movements, these two cameras tumble and roll as they capture a park and its surroundings without any regard to the perspective of the human eye.
personal program

Exercises for Two Hands

Józef Robakowski
Poland / 1976 / 7 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Input output
An imaging system consisting of two cameras, two monitors, and one lit light bulb. The image transmitted by the first camera to the second monitor is caught by the second camera and transmitted to the first monitor, where it is again captured by the first camera. The light is transmitted through the system’s loop even after the bulb goes out.
personal program

Input output

Wojciech Bruszewski
Poland / 1977 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Kineforms
Kineforms, which screened at Expo '58 in Brussels, was originally an improvised light performance staged at an experimental theatre as a survey of shapes created from light. Colours are lifted directly from object surfaces and liberated from their very character, materialising onto a black backdrop as nebulae, reflections, glares, and shadows.
personal program

Kineforms

Andrzej Pawlowski
Poland / 1957 / 7 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
My city
This film has a 500 views limit.On the border where dreams and reality collide, every nook and cranny of Krakow springs to life. The city’s appearance in the film may be long gone, but its memory lives on. And with the help of the narrator’s Proustian monologue, the assemblage of black-and-white shots of Krakow in the 1930s becomes a vibrant motion picture of a unique past.
personal program

My city

Wojciech Has
Poland / 1950 / 6 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
My Film
The camera, which is usually facing down on a path covered with autumn leaves, shakes with every step the filmmaker takes and the image of the park, dilapidated walls, and overgrown paths it conveys is fragmented and out of focus. The gaze of the camera brightens for just a few seconds when it discovers the next letter.
personal program

My Film

Józef Robakowski
Poland / 1974 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
My Street
This film has a 500 limit of views.A radio documentary with a visual track, My Street is a collection of receptive commentary from children who know their street like the back of their hand, including its rhythm, mood, and the habits of those who dwell on it. Sensitive observers of relationships and roles gloss over the everyday reality of adults, anticipating movements that will make Warsaw’s neglected Twarda Street completely unrecognisable.
personal program

My Street

Danuta Halladin
Poland / 1965 / 9 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Pavement
The cut’s extreme tempo, which connects the depiction of the human figure in shots of varying sizes, creates an impression of movement and transformation in every sense imaginable: from growth and disintegration to a change in position of both the figure itself and the viewer's angle.
personal program

Pavement

Ryszard Waśko
Poland / 1972 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Somnambulists
The enchanting layering of pulsating, oil-coloured stains and water droplets extruded on the glass surfaces is inspired by the process of creating informal paintings by Tadeusz Kantor, to whom Waśkowski and his collaborator Nurzyński also dedicated their previous student film.
personal program

Somnambulists

Mieczyslaw Waśkowski
Poland / 1957 / 9 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
System I-VI
Short structural études are worked in with three shots, including three types of tracking shots, and three types of sound variations. The individual elements and functions of this audiovisual structure are presented to the audience gradually; and an increasingly complex implementation of the system’s options can be observed without becoming disoriented.
personal program

System I-VI

Ryszard Waśko
Poland / 1973 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Text Door
The language of the door that this film captures is the result of a Latin-written text being translated into a material alphabet composed of the angle and direction of movement of the creaking door.
personal program

Text Door

Wojciech Bruszewski
Poland / 1974 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
The Musicians
This film has a 500 limit of viewsThe camera makes its way through the clarinets, tubas, kettledrums, and trumpets at a rehearsal for a brass orchestra, whose members are made up of amateur musicians who work for the public transport authority. The film captures the sharply cut, charismatic, and highly concentrated faces of musicians: Warsaw tram drivers playing music after their shift.
personal program

The Musicians

Kazimierz Karabasz
Poland / 1960 / 9 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
There and Here
This film is part of Pawłowski's multimedia project, Kineforms. Accompanied by a modernist composition from Adam Walaciński and set within the space of parentheses formed by an expressive portrait of a hand and wildly done-up faces, colourful flashes, smudges and reflections are thrown into the darkness with the help of a projector composed of crumpled-up cellophane, a reflector, and moving lenses.
personal program

There and Here

Andrzej Pawlowski
Poland / 1957 / 6 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Video A
Standing in the middle of a television studio, the director of the film barks orders at the cameraman, who obediently listens. Alternating between three different cameras based on the cadence of the director’s instructions, we get a glimpse of how the whole filming process has been set up. Kwiek's performance was broadcast live on a show dedicated to the works of members from the Workshop of the Film Form (Warsztat Formy Filmowej).
personal program

Video A

Pawel Kwiek
Poland / 1974 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Video C
In a space depicting the static engagement on the control panel and the torso of the operator's body, a cybernetic étude is played for two hands: one hand controls the movement of an arrow sliding on the surface of the shot while the other chases or obstructs the arrow, pulling it from the surface into the space shown.
personal program

Video C

Pawel Kwiek
Poland / 1975 / 3 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Working Women
A series of five static, carefully lit shots of single workers concentrating on their job is complemented by a joyless look at an exhausted mother. The amplified sounds of the environment that accompany each scene culminate in the composition of a baby's screams and the sighs of a couple copulating on the screen in a woman's bedroom.
personal program

Working Women

Piotr Szulkin
Poland / 1978 / 6 min.
section: Conference Fascinations: Poland
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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