Kinoteka 2009

The Kinoteka Film Festiwal (or, more prosaically, London’s seventh annual Polish film festival) has just announced its full programme - and very impressive it is too, offering a mixture of recent Polish films and important retrospectives, including the extraordinary Polish New Wave season at Tate Modern. I say “extraordinary” partly because it’s an attempt at retrospectively defining a historical “new wave” that wasn’t recognised as such at the time, and partly because of its line-up of ultra-rare work by Jerzy Skolimowski, Andrzej Żuławski (both of whom will be making personal appearances) and Grzegorz Królikiewicz. I’ve yet to sample anything by the latter, but apparently it’s my loss.

Here’s the official announcement:

The Kinoteka Film Festiwal are pleased to announce the full line-up of their 7th annual programme. Offering up an extraordinary visual feast of films and special events spanning 6 venues across the capital, Kinoteka’s exciting new programme is set to challenge UK audience perceptions by showcasing the very best of Polish culture, across visual arts, music and film. The programme selection offers something for everyone, including the latest features, documentaries and shorts retrospectives and special onstage events. Kintoteka is organised by the Polish Cultural Institute in partnership with Wyborowa Wodka and the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Kinoteka runs from 12th March to 8th April 2009. Tickets for this year’s innovative and eclectic line-up will go on sale from 15 February.

Kicking off the festival is Małgośka Szumowska’s sophisticated relationship drama, 33 Scenes from Life (33 sceny z życia, 12 March, Riverside Studios). Described by the Toronto Film Festival as one of Polish Cinema’s rising stars, Szumowska continues in the tradition of Kieślowski with a beautifully observed study exploring the resilience of the human spirit and the ties that unite people.

The life and work of Krzysztof Kieślowski is celebrated at the Riverside with an exhibition of the auteur’s personal artefacts, photos and poster artwork, taken from the Łódz Museum of Cinematography’s major retrospective ‘Kieślowski: Traces and Memory’. A uniquely personal insight into one of Poland’s most revered filmmakers, the exhibition forms part of a 20th anniversary celebration of Kieślowski’s acclaimed Dekalog series, with screenings from both the original Dekalog and new films commissioned by Polish TV with contemporary filmmakers personal response to Kieślowski’s interpretation Dekalog after Dekalog. (14th/15th March, Riverside Studios)

Kinoteka is delighted to welcome Polish cinema’s former ‘enfant terrible’, feted director/actor Jerzy Skolimowski (most recently seen in David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises) back to London to talk about his long and illustrious career at the BFI Southbank and to present the UK premiere of his latest film, 4 Nights With Anna (Cztery noce z Anną). Enigmatic, disturbing and tender, Skolismowski’s darkly humorous tale of obsessive love and voyeurism marks an assured return as director after a 17 year absence (18th March, BFI Southbank).

Skolimowski’s reputation is intrinsically linked with the new cinema of the 60s. In honour of his prestigious career, Kinoteka are holding a retrospective of Skolimowski’s early work at the Riverside Studios (21st/22nd March, Riverside Studios) including his influential feature debut, Identification Marks: None (Rysopis), which also figures in the specially curated Polish New Wave season at Tate Modern.

This illuminating programme brings together a range of groundbreaking fiction, documentary and video art films, in an attempt to capture and define the phenomenon of Polish New Wave; within a cinema of examination and experimentation. Visionary director Andrzej Żuławski, a key figure in this New Wave, will be in attendance to open the season at Tate Modern and will present a newly-mastered version of his legendary, existentialist sci-fi epic On the Silver Globe (Na srebrnym globie), originally suppressed and almost destroyed by the Polish authorities (4 April, Tate Modern).

This year’s Kinoteka also features the extraordinary films of award-winning documentarian Marcin Koszałka, giving UK audiences an introduction to his playful and insightful filmmaking style. In addition to a special triple bill focusing on his earlier films (14th March, Riverside Studios) his latest film Till it Hurts (Do bólu) screens as part of the Dekalog after Dekalog series as well as Magdalena Piekorz’s Drowsiness (Senność) which he shot (13th March, Riverside Studios).

There are also screenings from the cream of contemporary Polish filmmaking talent including the highly anticipated, The Offsiders (Boisko bezdomnych, 14 March, Riverside Studios), a comedy drama following the ups and downs of a homeless football team, by Kasia Adamik (daughter of Agnieszka Holland, the Oscar-nominated director of Europa, Europa). Ahead of its UK release a special preview of Tricks (Sztuczki), Andrzej Jakimowski’s award-winning charmer, a nostalgic tale of childhood innocence, which was chosen as Poland’s official entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language film for the Academy Awards (15th March, Riverside Studios).

In addition Kinoteka will be holding Polish Shorts film club nights at Cargo (23rd/30th March) and a special preview of the recent Polish box office hit Ideal Boyfriend For My Girlfriend at the Prince Charles (16th March).

Kinoteka’s festival programme culminates in a unique evening of film and music on 8th April at the Barbican with Michael Nyman, one of Britain’s most celebrated and recognised contemporary composers. The Closing Night Gala concert brings together Michael Nyman, performing the world premiere of a new version of MGV in collaboration with Poland’s cutting-edge accordion group, Motion Trio as well as his latest work, a personal tribute to Polish cinema in honour of Kinoteka, alongside a montage of classic Polish films.

Kinoteka are thrilled to be teaming up again with the renowned independent filmmaking talents of the Quay Brothers, who are strengthening their support for the festival. The pair who have produced Kinoteka’s Festiwal trailer have designed the eye-catching new poster artwork, with their own homage to the school of modern Polish poster design.

Highlights from Kinoteka will go on tour at selected cities throughout the UK, kicking off in Belfast 20 March.

…and here’s the website - just a single holding page at the time of writing, but the rest should go live before too long.

2 Responses to “Kinoteka 2009”

  1. Kevin Wilson Says:

    Hi Michael,

    Do you know whether the print of On the Silver Globe is likely to be the same as the Polart DVD (which I have a copy of). It would be interesting to hear Zulawski speak again - I saw him do a Q&A for the Second Run release of ‘The Third Part of Night’. Here’s hoping for a decent release of ‘The Devil’ one day too.

  2. Michael Brooke Says:

    Sorry, I’m only very peripherally involved with all this (I’m interviewing Skolimowski at the BFI Southbank event), so I have no idea about print sources. But given Zulawski’s involvement, hopefully the quality will be as high as is realistically possible.

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