April 2012, arsenal cinema


NA WYLOT, 1972

As our contribution to the 7th Polish film festival in Berlin – filmPOLSKA – which is taking place from 12. to 18. April in different cinemas in the capital and Potsdam, we at Arsenal are putting the spotlight on Polish camera operators for the third time running. This year, we are pleased to welcome Bogdan Dziworski and Wojciech Staroń, who will each present their camera and directing work on two evenings. Bogdan Dziworski, who has made well over 40 films, started working as a cameraman and photographer in the mid-1960s, and soon afterwards started directing too. He focuses particularly on documentary in his work, and in the 1970s and 80s, he made films for the renowned Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych (Educational Film Studio) in Łódź. He also later worked as a cameraman for a BBC series of films about the former Soviet Union. His photographs have received great acclaim in a series of exhibitions and publications. Dziworski always has a number of projects on the go at once and is also the dean of Radio & TV department of the University of Silesia in Katowice.

As a cameraman, he has worked with various directors, including Grzegorz Królikiewicz whose radical debut NA WYLOT(Through and Through, Poland 1972, 14.4.) was one of Dziworski's few feature projects. His breathtaking black-and-white images of great graphic quality form the framework for a young couple’s desperate struggle to find a place in society. After the brutal murder of three old people, the couple is promptly arrested and taken to court. Alternating the use of a restless hand-held camera with a fixed one, Dziworski observes the protagonists and their surroundings – a monstrous world.

A shorts program on 15.4 gives an insight into Bogdan Dziworski's work as a director. SCENY NARCIARSKI Z FRANZEM KLAMMEREM(Skiing Scenes with Franz Klammer, PL 1980) was described by the co-directors Gerald Kargl, Zbigniew Rybczyński und Dziworski as a "creative" documentary. The film processes biographic and visual impressions from the life of the Austrian skier Franz Klammer. Sporting activities also provide the leitmotif of HOKEJ(Hockey, PL 1976) and OLIMPIADA(Olympia, PL 1978). KILKA OPOWIEŚCI O CZŁOWIEKU(Stories about a Man, PL 1984) and SZAPITO(PL 1984) will also be screened.

Documentary is also an important point of reference for Wojciech Staroń, a director, cameraman and graduate of the film school in Łódź: "For the cameraman, a documentary-like attentiveness to feelings and the way they are translated in images is what's most important - independently of genre. It is not easy to define this today. This ambiguity interests me."

Staroń was awarded the Silver Bear at the 2011 Berlinale for his camerawork in Paula Markovitch's EL PREMIO (Mexico/PL/Germany/F 2010, 16.4.). The film depicts the life of the young girl Cecilia who lives with her mother in a shack on the beach during Argentina's military dictatorship. The mother's fear and despair collide again and again with the young girl's desire to lead a "normal" life. The private, remote territory offers no protection from the horrors of the times.

ARGENTYNSKA LEKCJA  (The Argentinian Lesson, Wojciech Staroń, PL 2011, 17.4.) A move to Argentina represents a new start for the Starońs. The father’s camera accompanies his son Janek on his discoveries of the still alien environment. Janek finds a friend in the eleven-year-old Marcia who bravely confronts social problems. The childish exploration of the new space gives Staroń a form that lies somewhere between documentary and feature.

A Polish Institute in Berlin event with the support of the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Polish Film Institute.