Previously at the ICA - Films
12 Apr 2015
In a short career before his premature death at the age of 35, influential documentarian Wojciech Wiszniewski (1946-1981) produced just 10 short films, yet he is now considered to be one of the most outstanding personalities of his generation. His legacy is explored in Wojciech Wiszniewski Rediscovered, a programme of 6 of his shorts, which will be introduced by renowned cinematographer Jacek Petrycki.
Wojciech Wiszniewski has been regarded as the most radical representative of the so-called ‘creational’ movement in Polish documentary of the 70s. This school renounced documentary attributes such as cognitive passivity, the minimalism of form and the positioning of the filmmaker as a mere observer and recorder of reality.
Today ‘creational’ documentaries are fully accepted and acknowledged. However in the 70s, it was still new territory. Breaking the conventions by employing bold techniques of framing, distorting sound, methaphoric use of editing, special effects and most of all orchestrating scenes and creating the reality before the camera was a huge novelity.
Wiszniewski’s first undergraduate film which won an award at Oberhausen. We are observing the main character driving a car through expressionistic photography (by Sławomir Idziak), hardcore jazz and associative editing.
Heart Attack, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1967, 7 mins.
A Story of a Man who filled 552% of the Quota
Bernard Bugdoł is a miner and legendary leader of socialist labour in the 40’s and 50’s. Showing few signs of artistic intervention, this film consists of commentaries by Bugdoł himself, other miners, his wife and children, interspersed with fragments from a variety of socialist realist material.
A Story of a Man who Fillled 552% of the Quota, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1973, 25 mins.
Wanda Gościmińska. A Weaver
A film about a leader of socialist labour, a female weaver from Łódź. The weaver’s life is thrown onto the socio-political canvas of pre-war and post-war communist Poland. The allegorical and symbolic imaginary illustrates subsequent periods of history and draws from socialist realistic iconography.
Wanda Gosciminska. A Weaver, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1975, 21 mins.
Portrayal of the state of the Polish soul in the mid 70s. The primer symbolizes a key to the way people communicate and perceive the world and traditions. Tradition is dead, communications between people has become ossified in its banal formats; we know all the letters of the alphabet but cannot put them into the sentences which would express our true selves.
The Primer, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1976, 9 mins.
The film features a fictional character, whose curriculum vitae (Wiszniewski’s own creation read by Jan Himilsbach) is illustrated by genuine footage showing ponderous historical events. The carpenter appears to be completetly indifferent to politics, to him political changes are meaningful only if they have an impact on the level of demand for woodwork.
The Carpenter, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1976, 13 mins.
Foreman on a Farm
Portrait of a real person presented through a storyline which alludes to the folk art poetics and is commented off-screen with a witty but bitter song. A retired miner, who moves with his family to the country and tries to start his own business, suffers a defeat and is rejected by the local community. The fiasco of the stereotypes perpetuated by the 1970s propaganda. Introduction by Jacek Petrycki, renowned Director of Photography and friend of Wiszniewski
Foreman on a Farm, dir. Wiszniewski, Poland 1978, 14 mins.
The screening is part of the 13th KINOTEKA Polish Film festival. See the full programme.
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The ICA Cinema is now completely ad-free. Please note the feature will start following a selection of trailers and information relevant to the ICA programme. All films are 18+ unless otherwise stated.