Zbig Rybczynski, New Book (1975) frame enlargement.


Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003


18 February 2016


7:30 PM – 9:00PM

AFA Screening: MFJ 62 “New Books" - Polish Avant-Garde Films 1930s-1990s

Program Notes.

This is a unique one-time only screening with many of these films being presented in their original 35mm format.

Avant-garde film from Poland has an almost mythological reputation, largely due to the activities of filmmakers associated with the Łódź Film Form Workshop, which peaked in the 1970s. However, a recent book entitled THE STRUGGLE FOR FORM argues that a distinctive strain of moving image experimentation by Polish artists began as early as 1916 and continued at least until 1989 when their works began to merge into a globalized ‘art world.’

In concert with his review of THE STRUGGLE FOR FORM, published in the most recent issue of the Millennium Film Journal No. 62 “New Books” (Fall 2015), Andrzej Jachimczyk has curated this special one-program survey of Polish avant-garde cinema, beginning with a 1937 film by the Themersons and a formal experiment by Andrzej Pawłowski, followed by an example of the Moral Angst Cinema by Wojciech Wiszniewski and two films made under the auspices of the Film Form Workshop. The third part of the program contains an existential contemplation by Andrzej Klimowski and a social critique by Hieronim Neumann, and ends with a 1997 documentary by the film visionary Kazimierz Karabasz. Though Polish avant-garde cinema is often considered to embrace a rigidly formalist position, this program suggests that changes in political climate have as significant an influence as aesthetic prerogatives on the methods and ideas of moving image artists. Though none of the works can be definitively categorized, the program includes fictional, animation, and documentary approaches to film.

Presented in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York. Thanks to Agata Grenda (Polish Cultural Institute New York), Andrzej Jachimczyk, and Grahame Weinbren, as well as to the National Audiovisual Institute, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the National Film Archive in Poland, and Michał Oleszczyk, Artistic Director of the Gdynia Film Festival.


Andrzej Pawłowski KINEFORMS / KINEFORMY (1957, 7 min, 35mm-to-digital)

Józef Robakowski TEST I (1971, 5 min, 35mm-to-digital)

Zbigniew Rybczyński NEW BOOK / NOWA KSIAŻKA (1975, 10 min, 35mm)

Wojciech Wiszniewski THE CARPENTER / STOLARZ (1976, 13 min, 35mm)

Andrzej Klimowski DEAD SHADOW / MARTWY CIEŃ (1980, 10.5 min, 35mm)

Hieronim Neumann BLOCK / BLOK (1982, 9 min, 35mm)

Kazimierz Karabasz PORTRAIT IN A DROP OF WATER / PORTRET W KROPLI (1997, 22 min, video)

Total running time: ca. 90 min.

Anthology Film Archive Film Notes

This program is partially funded by NYSCA through the Millennium Film Workshop, affiliated with Millennium Film Journal. The 35mm prints were provided by the Polish National Film Archive.