Film: Roman Polanski: Short Films with Live Music by SzaZa, Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, November 14


Courtesy of Euro London

The Society for Arts and Polish Cultural Institute in New York in association with Unsound Festival present

ROMAN POLANSKI: SHORTS
with live music by SzaZa

Sunday, November 14, 2010at 5:00 PM

NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

5500 N Saint Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-4699

More information at the event’s website.

FILMS

MURDER (Morderstwo)
Poland 1957
B & W, 35 mm, 1min 30 sec.
Written & directed by Roman Polanski
Cinematography by Nikola Todorow
Produced by PWSFTviT / Lodz Film School

Polanski’s very first film is an atmospheric short scene about a man stabbed to death while asleep in his bed.

TEETH SMILE (Usmiech zebiczny)
Poland 1957
B & W, 35 mm, 1 min 27.
Directed by Roman Polanski
Cinematography by Henryk Kucharski
Cast: Nikola Todorow
Produced by PWSFTviT / Lodz Film School

A handsome voyeur peeps at his dĂ©shabillĂ© neighbor, in a random moment of attraction that is ruined when the neighbor’s husband steps into the picture.

BREAK UP THE DANCE (Rozbijemy zabawe)
Poland 1957
B & W, 35 mm, 7 min 38 sec.
Written & directed by Roman Polanski
Cinematography by Marek Nowicki & Andrzej Galinski
Produced by Maciej Zuralski
Cast: Jan Rutkiewicz, Wieslaw Turowski, Andrzej Ziolkowski
Produced by PWSFTviT / Lodz Film School

A band of thugs crash a dance party and disrupt the fun by pushing girls down, beating people up and throwing them in the water. The act of thoughtless vandalism and animal brutality, emblematic of Polanski’s cinema, recalls the famous “nosy fellow” scene from “Chinatown.”

TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE (Dwaj ludzie z szafa)
Poland 1958
B & W, 35 mm, 15 min.
Written & directed by Roman Polanski
Director’s Assistant: Andrzej Kostenko
Cinematography by Maciej Kijowski
Produced by Ryszard Barski
Cast: Jakub Goldberg, Henryk Kluba, Roman Polanski
Produced by PWSFTviT / Lodz Film School
Awards: San Francisco International Film Festival (Special Prize for the Achievement in Experimental Film), Oberhausen International FF (Honorary Diploma), Brussels Experimental FF (Third Prize), Montevideo International FF (First Prize)

This story of two men emerging from the sea carrying a large wardrobe into town, where everyone they encounter is hostile and cruel, is a superb example of sophisticated film making, shot with an incomparable sense of surrealism and poetry, violence and delicacy. When the two men are beaten up and their mirror is smashed, they return to the sea as if to avoid complete disillusionment. Theorists interpret the work as a parable of the nonconformist in society and the consequences of carrying a burden.

WHEN ANGELS FALL (Kiedy spadaja anioly)
Poland 1959
B & W and color, 35 mm, 22 min.
Written & directed by Roman Polanski
Cinematography by Henryk Kucharski
Cast: Barbara Kwiatkowska, Andrzej Kondratiuk, Henryk Kluba, Roman Polanski
Produced by PWSFTviT / Lodz Film School

Polanski’s diploma film is an ambitious, period piece, in which he crosscuts between the present-day, dull existence of an elderly lavatory attendant and her more colourful past as young girl, despite the horrors of two wars and a constant yearning for her lover. Until “The Pianist” over four decades later, this was the only Polanski film that directly evoked his wartime childhood. The dreamy final scene of an angel descending is interpreted by some as a rare instance of explicitly religious imagery in Polanski’s cinema.

THE LAMP (Lampa)
Poland 1959
B & W, 35 mm, 7 min 50 sec.
Written & directed by Roman Polanski
Director’s Assistant: Andrzej Konstenko, Wasyl Mirczew
Cinematography by Krzysztof Romanowski
Produced by PWSFTviT / National Film School in Lodz

In the creepy world of an old doll maker’s shop, a fire break out, swallowing the doll parts and their empty faces. The unsettling feeling that the doll maker’s tedious, committed work has been in vain becomes a larger metaphor in this gloomy, surrealistic vision.

MAMMALS (Ssaki)
Poland 1962
B & W, 35 mm, 10 min 15 sec.
Written by Andrzej Kondratiuk & Roman Polanski
Directed by Roman Polanski
Cinematography by Andrzej Kostenko
Cast: Henryk Kluba, Michal Zolnierkiewicz
Produced by Stefan Adamek
Awards: Oberhausen International Film Festival (Main Prize), Tour International FF (Grand Prix)

Two men take turns pulling each other on one sled through the snow in this cinematic dance of power. The clean, Beckettesque story connects to the themes of the political duplicity in Polanski’s French 1961 short, “The Fat and the Lean”.

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