April 2013, arsenal cinema

FilmPolska: Camera Art

SANATORIUM POD KLEPSYDRĄ, 1973

For eight years now, FilmPolska – Germany's biggest Polish film festival – has paid special attention to the art of camera work. Subsequently, we have been able to invite such greats as Sławomir Idziak, Bogdan Dziworski, Artur Reinhardt, Wojtek Staroń and Paweł Edelman to Arsenal. This year, the festival is not only presenting outstanding internationally renowned cameramen again but also a phenomenon: The Sobociński "family of cameramen". We are delighted to welcome one of the most important Polish DOPs, Witold Sobociński (*1929) to Arsenal, as well as his grandson, the director and cameraman Piotr Sobociński (*1983). They will present their own films alongside a film by Piotr Sobociński (*1958) who passed away in 2001.

SANATORIUM POD KLEPSYDRA(The Hour-Glass Sanatorium, Wojciech Jerzy Has, Poland 1973, Camera: Witold Sobociński, 19.4., Visiting guest: Witold Sobociński) Joseph is traveling to a sanatorium where his father recently died. When he arrives, the facility is between life and death, a labyrinth of space and time, in which Joseph gradually gets lost. The philosophical centre of this richly atmospheric film version of the eponymous volume of short stories by Bruno Schulz is formed by the gap between individual and collective memory and the subject of death. The overflowing imagination of the pictures and the surreal narrative make the melancholy film a milestone of film history.

ROZA(Rose, Wojciech Smarzowski, Poland 2011, Camera: Piotr Sobociński jr., 20.4., visiting guest: Piotr Sobociński) Straight after World War Two, Tadeusz, a former officer in the Polish Home Army who survived the Warsaw uprising, finds himself in the bleak war-torn Masurian countryside. He is looking for Róża, the widow of a German soldier whose death he witnessed. When he finds her, the possibility of a better future twinkles, but the immediate post-war era is characterized by lawlessness and revenge.

WESELE(The Wedding, Andrzej Wajda, Poland 1973, Camera: Witold Sobociński, 22.4., Visiting guest: Witold Sobociński) At the turn of the century, a poet marries the daughter of a rich farmer. Representatives of all social strata attend the wedding. Nobles, intellectuals, landowners, farmers, priests, Jewish citizens. And ghosts and visions, heroic figures of Polish history and culture are also present at the high-spirited celebration. Using satire and biting wit, Wajda unfolds Poland's national myths and weaves them into an unleashed frenzy that is given momentum by cameraman Witold Sobociński.

TWILIGHT(Robert Benton, USA 1998, camera: Piotr Sobociński Senior, 23.4., Visiting guests: Witold and Piotr Sobociński) This melancholy, laconic homage to film noir is about an ageing ex-cop (Paul Newman), who gets involved in murder because of a contract he presumed harmless. Fantastic actors such as Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman and James Garner illuminate the film with their glistening acting that tends to play down emotions. Piotr Sobociński Senior frames them expertly.

A Polish Institute in Berlin project with the support of the Polish Film Institute (PISF), the Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.