Polish Film School

Polish Film School (Polish: Polska Szkoła Filmowa) refers to an informal group of Polish film directors and screenplay writers active between 1956 and approximately 1963.

The group was under heavy influence of Italian neorealists. It took advantage of the liberal changes in Poland after 1956 Polish October to portray the complexity of Polish history during World War II and German occupation. Among the most important topics were the generation of former Home Army soldiers and their role in post-war Poland and the national tragedies like the German concentration camps and the Warsaw Uprising. The political changes allowed the group to speak more openly of the recent history of Poland. However, the rule of censorship was still strong when it comes to history after 1945 and there were very few films on the contemporary events. This marked the major difference between the members of the Polish Film School and Italian neorealists.

The Polish Film School was the first to underline the national character of Poles and one of the first artistic movements in Central Europe to openly oppose the official guidelines of Socialist realism. The members of the movement tend to underline the role of individual as opposed to collectivity. There were two trends within the movement: young directors such as Andrzej Wajda generally studied the idea of heroism, while another group (the most notable being Andrzej Munk) analysed the Polish character via irony, humor and a dissection of national myths.

Notable people and films

See also

Acid Western

Acid Western is a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960s. Acid Westerns subvert many of the conventions of earlier Westerns to "conjure up a crazed version of autodestructive white America at its most solipsistic, hankering after its own lost origins".

Andrzej Munk

Andrzej Munk (16 October 1921 – 20 September 1961) was a Polish film director, screen writer and documentalist. He was one of the most influential artists of the post-Stalinist period in the People's Republic of Poland. His feature films Man on the Tracks (Człowiek na torze, 1956), Eroica (Heroism, 1958), Bad Luck (Zezowate szczęście, 1960), and Passenger (Pasażerka 1963), are considered classics of the Polish Film School developed in mid-1950s. He died as a result of a car crash in Kompina in a head-on collision with a truck.

Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Witold Wajda (Polish: [ˈandʐɛj ˈvajda]; 6 March 1926 – 9 October 2016) was a Polish film and theatre director. Recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion and Golden Bear Awards, he was a prominent member of the "Polish Film School". He was known especially for his trilogy of war films consisting of A Generation (1954), Kanał (1956) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958).He is considered one of the world's most renowned filmmakers whose works chronicled his native country's political and social evolution and dealt with the myths of Polish national identity offering insightful analyses of the universal element of the Polish experience - the struggle to maintain dignity under the most trying circumstances.

Four of his films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: The Promised Land (1975), The Maids of Wilko (1979), Man of Iron (1981) and Katyń (2007).

Cinema of Poland

The history of cinema in Poland is almost as long as history of cinematography, and it has universal achievements, even though Polish films tend to be less commercially available than films from several other European nations.

After World War II, the communist government built an auteur-based national cinema, trained hundreds of new directors and empowered them to make films. Filmmakers like Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Żuławski, Andrzej Munk, and Jerzy Skolimowski impacted the development of Polish filmmaking. In more recent years, the industry has been producer-led with finance being the key to a film being made, and with a large number of independent filmmakers of all genres, Polish productions tend to be more inspired by American film.

How to Be Loved

How to be Loved (Polish: Jak być kochaną) is a Polish film released in 1963, directed by Wojciech Has.

The film, based on a novel of the same name by Kazimierz Brandys, examines the emotional casualties of war, which is perhaps the central theme of the Polish Film School. On a deeper level, the film manages to construct a personal tragedy that results from a struggle of egoism and cowardice versus devotion and courage.

On a plane bound for Paris, Felicja (Barbara Krafftówna), a successful radio actress, recalls the night in 1939 when she was to debut as Ophelia, with the man she loved, Wiktor (Zbigniew Cybulski), playing Hamlet. World War II intervenes, and Felicja takes a job as a waitress to avoid acting on a German stage, giving her lover sanctuary when he's accused of killing a collaborator. After the war, Wiktor can't get away fast enough, hot on the trail of fame and applause, and the woman who saved him is herself wrongly accused of collaboration. Years later, Wiktor and Felicja meet again, and the tables have turned.

The film was entered into the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.

Italian neorealism

Italian neorealism (Italian: Neorealismo), also known as the Golden Age, is a national film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on location, frequently using non-professional actors. Italian neorealism films mostly contend with the difficult economic and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, representing changes in the Italian psyche and conditions of everyday life, including poverty, oppression, injustice, and desperation.

Jakub Goldberg

Jakub Goldberg (a.k.a. Kuba Goldberg) (August 29, 1924 in Warsaw, Poland – April 27, 2002 in Copenhagen, Denmark) was a Polish scriptwriter, assistant director and actor.

A graduate of the prestigious Polish Film School in Łódź, Goldberg was a well-known personality in the post-war Polish film community. He worked as a collaborator and assistant director for Polish film directors such as Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, and Roman Polanski. As an actor, most notably he starred as one of the two men carrying the wardrobe (opposite Henryk Kluba) in Roman Polanski's award-winning landmark short film Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958). He also played the electricity meter man in Polanski's short film When Angels Fall (1959). He was co-writer and assistant director of Polanski's feature debut Knife in the Water (1962). The Communists forced him to leave Poland, his home, in 1969, and he later became a lecturer at the film academy in Copenhagen.

Jerzy Toeplitz

Jerzy Toeplitz AO (24 November 1909 – 25 July 1995) was born in 1909 in Kharkiv (at that time in Russia). He was educated in Warsaw. After World War II he was the co-founder of the Polish Film School, and later took up an appointment in Australia for the Film and TV School.

Between 1948 and 1972 he was Vice-President of the International Film and Television Council (USA). In 1959, he was a member of the jury at the 1st Moscow International Film Festival. Two years later, he was a member of the jury at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival.He was also an author and published a number of books which have been translated into many languages. Toeplitz also, for almost 30 years (1948–1971), was the president of the International Federation of Films Archives (FIAF), where he accomplished a very important role, overall in the Cold War conjuncture, especially into a very big crisis of the FIAF's history (perhaps the worst), when Henri Langlois (one of the Cinemathèquè Française's founders) left the FIAF. Toeplitz's job was a very important differential (typical of his generation) because he was a cinema's teacher and a leader of an educational project in the Polish city of Łódź (a reference into the period). This school had a decisive impact on the modern cinema in Poland.

In 1985 he was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to Australian film. In 1986, he was a member of the jury at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival.

Kazimierz Kutz

Kazimierz Julian Kutz (16 February 1929 – 18 December 2018) was a Polish film director, author, journalist and politician, one of the representatives of the Polish Film School and a deputy speaker of the Senate of Poland.

List of Polish-language films

There are two lists of Polish language films:

Alphabetical by Polish title

Alphabetical by title of English release

List of apocalyptic films

This is a list of apocalyptic feature-length films. All films within this list feature either the end of the world, a prelude to such an end (such as a world taken over by a viral infection), and/or a post-apocalyptic setting.

Man on the Tracks

Man on the Tracks (Polish: Człowiek na torze) is a 1956 film by Andrzej Munk.

Man on the Tracks was one of the first films of the Polish Film School and as such influenced the whole generation of young directors who participated in the movement.

The film tells the story, mostly in flashback, of a railway worker who is fired from his job for alleged sabotage of the Socialist methods of work.

Meat pie Western

Meat pie Western, also known as Australian Western or kangaroo Western, is a broad genre of Western-style films or TV series set in the Australian outback or "the bush". Films about bushrangers (sometimes called bushranger films) are included in this genre. Some films categorised as meat-pie or Australian Westerns also fulfil the criteria for other genres, such as drama, revisionist Western, crime or thriller.

The term "meat pie Western" is a play on the term Spaghetti Western, used for Italian-made Westerns, relating in both cases to foods are regarded as national dishes.

Mira Hamermesh

Mira Hamermesh (15 July 1923 - 19 February 2012) was an independent Polish filmmaker and artist who made documentaries for British television. She was a student of painting at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem and later moved to London to study at the Slade School of Art. Mira returned to Poland in 1960 to study at the polish film school where she began documenting her personal experience of fleeing Nazi occupied Germany as a Jewish teenager.

National Film School in Łódź

The Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w Łodzi) is the leading Polish academy for future actors, directors, photographers, camera operators and TV staff. It was founded on 8 March 1948 in Łódź and was initially planned to be moved to Warsaw as soon as the city was rebuilt after its destruction during World War II and the Warsaw Uprising. However, in the end the school remained in Łódź and is one of the most prominent institutions of higher education in the city.

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Tadeusz Łomnicki

Tadeusz Łomnicki (Polish pronunciation: [taˈdɛuʂ wɔmˈɲit͡skʲi]; 18 July 1927 in Podhajce near Ternopil (now Pidhaitsi, Ukraine) – 22 February 1992 in Poznań) was a Polish actor, one of the most notable stage and film artists of his time in Poland. He is remembered mostly for his roles in comedies and dramas, as well as for the role of Kordian in Juliusz Słowacki's play of the same title. He was also a notable professor and a rector of the State Theatre School in Warsaw.

The Wedding (1972 film)

Wesele (The Wedding) is a motion picture made in 1972 in Poland by Andrzej Wajda as an adaptation of a play by the same title written by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1901. Wajda also directed "Wesele" for the theatre.

"Wesele" is a defining work of Polish drama written at the turn of the 20th century. It describes the perils of the national drive toward self-determination after the Polish uprisings of November 1830 and January 1863, the result of the Partitions of Poland. It also refers to the Galician slaughter of 1846. The plot is set at the wedding of a member of Kraków intelligentsia (the Bridegroom, played by Daniel Olbrychski), and his peasant Bride (played by Ewa Ziętek). Their class-blurring union follows a fashionable trend among friends of the playwright from the modernist Young Poland movement.

The play by Wyspiański was based on a real-life event: the wedding of Lucjan Rydel at the St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków and his wedding reception in the village of Bronowice. It was inspired in part also by the modernist painting of Jacek Malczewski and Maksymilian Gierymski.

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