From September 9 to 15, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in collaboration with the Polish Film Institute in Warsaw and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, will present Transitions: Recent Polish Cinema, a series of recent films that collectively offer a provocative look at Poland today.
While the Revolution of 1989 is the great moment of change for contemporary Poland, this Eastern European country has never stopped changing.
The nation has had to adapt to a "European" identity; learned to deal with new, emerging centers of power, such as China, India, and once again Russia; and deal with a dizzying array of social movements from ecology to gay rights. Moreover, there was the question of the country’s past: how to understand it and explain it to new generations of Poles.
Throughout this period, Polish cinema — always an able chronicler of Polish life — has tried to keep up with this "New Poland."
The series includes two classic films starring the great Zbigniew Cybulski, shown in beautifully restored copies.
Listed below are short descriptions of the films in the series:
All That I Love (2009)
directed by Jacek Borcuch
Amidst the Solidarity strikes and crackdowns of 1981, punk rock and hormones distract the son of a naval officer in Borcuch’s coming-of-age crowd-pleaser. A Sundance 2010 selection.
Black Thursday (2011)
directed by Antoni Krauze
The brutally suppressed Gdynia shipyard strikes of 1970 get a stirring reconstruction, spiraling out from the senseless shooting of a man on his way to work.
directed by Marek Lechki
30-something dad Michal is called back to his hometown and drawn into stories and lives from his past, in Lechki’s sensitively observed, lyrical debut.
Goodbye Until Tomorrow (1960)
directed by Janusz Morgenstern
Zbigniew Cybulski, the James Dean of Poland, shines as a charming actor in a traveling troupe who catches the eye of a fetching Frenchwoman. Scored by Krzysztof Komeda.
Mall Girls (2009)
directed by Katarzyna Roslaniec
Roslaniec’s darkly devastating film, which spurred nationwide debates, follows teens who get the latest fashions by offering themselves to men known as “sponsors.”
Mother Teresa of Cats (2009)
directed by Pawel Sala .
Dysfunction turns to disaster when two brothers, aged 22 and 12, murder their cat-loving mother, in this sobering drama told through serial flashbacks and based on a true story.
Night Train (1959)
directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
In this masterfully shot classic of postwar Polish cinema, a fateful train hosts a diverse mosaic of personalities—including a murderer. With Zbigniew Cybulski as a spurned lover.
Out of Love (2011)
directed by Anna Jadowska
Hard up for cash, a young married couple decide to act in a porn movie — just once — but the experience opens up emotional and moral issues.
Suicide Room (2010)
directed by Jan Komasa
After a high-school dare leads to humiliation, a rich teen spirals into an abyss of virtual online worlds, in Komasa’s coolly visualized tale of youth and oblivion.
directed by Jan Jakub Kolski
Re-creating the wonders of Venice in their basement, a boy and his family find a magic-realist escape from World War II in this visually striking film.
For information on screening times and more, go to: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/transitions-recent-polish-cinema
Transitions: Recent Polish Cinema
September 9 - 15, 2011
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Walter Reade Theater
165 W. 65th St.
New York, NY