Polish animation holds a very special position in the hearts of all fans of classic animation. It has been described as containing “a sense of absurdity, surrealism and anguished settings”. All true, but to this could also be added a love of complex, adult fairytales and a willingness to take the best from western and eastern visual influences. The names of the finest Polish animators stand high on any list of master animators. Jan Lenica, Jerzy Kucia, Zbigniew Rybczynski, Piotr Dumala and Walerian Borowczyk and many more are represented in this comprehensive four programme retrospective, co-presented by Etiuda&Anima, Poland and LIAF. Details of the final of the four programmes are shown below.
‘Śniadanie/The Breakfast’ (Izabela Plucińska, 2006)
An enchanting two-minute plasticine animation, presenting a story about people finding each other once again. A couple sits at the breakfast table in silence. Everything will change when an unexpected wind enters the kitchen.
‘Wiek Kamienia/The Age of Stone’ (Marta Skrocka, 2007)
Constant transformations in nature express the triumph of the force of life – a life that is always reborn, creating new forms from the same material. ’The Age of Stone‘ was awarded the ‘Golden Jabberwocky’ for ‘Best Student Animation’ at the Etiuda&Anima festival in 2008.
‘Dokumanimo’ (Małgorzata Bosek, 2007)
A documentary-like animation recording the everyday life of a housewife. The woman wants to escape stupefying repetitive activities and so she starts making artistic collages out of rubbish. Bosek’s début has recieved many awards. She uses pastels and aquarelles.
‘Sekwens/Sequence’ (Robert Sowa, 2007)
A story which mixes reality with the dream-like world of a character’s inner experiences. A man leaves his house, but memories of a person close to his heart torment him constantly. He recalls images of the time when they were together.
‘Refreny/Refrains’ (Wiola Sowa, 2007)
A sophisticated story about the experiences of three generations of women. A letter, left by a Grandmother to her Granddaughter, begins a series of memories, emotions and experiences.
‘Wywijas/Inside Out’ (Andrzej Jobczyk, 2008)
An animation inspired by a hyperbolic and multi-dimensional geometry. A man wakes up in the morning and eats breakfast, during which he starts bending and unbending objects – including a house, a mug and a clock.
‘Laska/Stick’ (Michał Socha, 2008)
A story full of nonsensical humour about the deadly charm of a femme fatale. A woman meets a man in a nightclub. They drink, dance and have sex, but an unpleasant surprise awaits him. The film was awarded in ‘Annecy’ for interesting use of music.
‘Ukryte/Hidden’ (Piotr Szczepanowicz, 2009)
A lonely man lives in a house near a railway track. During supper one day, an event occurs that uncovers an inconvenient truth about himself. ‘Hidden’ is a simple story about life.
‘Kto by Pomyślał?/Who Would Have Thought? (Ewa Borysewicz, 2009)
A man disappeared in unexplained circumstances. People from the same housing estate who met him from time to time, try to answer questions about his disappearance. This is a simple animation, made in a documentary style.
‘Esterhazy’ (Izabela Plucińska, 2009)
Berlin, 1989. Esterhazy, a little rabbit from Vienna comes to Berlin in search of a wife and marriage. The film is based on a popular German book written for children by Irene Dische and Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
‘Rytuał/Ritual’ (Zbigniew Czapla, 2010)
A man, doing his everyday activities, which are sometimes grotesque and comical, discovers the terrifying beastliness of his own nature. A sudden awakening interrupts a frightening metamorphosis – but was it just a dream?