Classically, in reverse – view the Timeless Film Festival Warsaw poster
Audrey Hepburn takes center stage on the Timeless Film Festival Warsaw poster (April 8-15, 2024) for a reason. The ubiquity of her persona doesn’t change the fact that we rarely get through the layer of myth that has built up around her. Aleksander Walijewski’s artwork reverses the perspective and makes us look at the canon from a completely different angle – a concept that serves as a guiding principle for the festival’s inaugural edition.
Aleksander Walijewski discusses the idea behind his creation:
Timeless is a brand-new film festival, so it was crucial for me to understand the idea of the event before designing the poster.
I wanted to include the hourglass symbol in the sketches, but not in an obvious way. One of the sketches depicted the profile of a woman looking up with an inscribed hourglass shape, but it was only after rotating the entire composition and multiplying the portrait that I achieved the effect seen in the final version of the poster. The shape, originally reminiscent of an hourglass, now resembles light – something continuous, but because of the multiplicity of the gaze, something changeable at the same time. Complementing the idea of the poster is the image of Audrey Hepburn, a prominent actress from Hollywood’s golden era.
I made the poster mostly using digital painting techniques. Apart from the portraits, which were painted with the aid of a graphics tablet, there are also elements produced traditionally. These encompass the fills within the hourglass/light shapes and the poster’s background. The appearance of brush marks adds a touch of nostalgia to the overall work.I frequently draw inspiration from the past, where I still discover a wealth of creative ideas, so the process of designing the Timeless poster was an absolute pleasure.
Audrey Hepburn’s films served as the introduction to classic cinema for many viewers. At Timeless, we want to acknowledge the pivotal role she played in introducing the next generation of cinephiles to the world of classic movies, and the perfect opportunity for this recognition is now upon us. In 2024, we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the release of My Fair Lady, a film in which Hepburn portrayed an ambitious florist with a sharp tongue. This movie stands not only as one of the greatest musicals of the late Hollywood era but also of classical cinema in general. It was staged with flair and masterfully performed, not only by Hepburn but also by Stanley Holloway, who portrayed the main character’s dissolute father, and Rex Harrison in the role of the pompous phonologist. The film is replete with subtleties that only such an outstanding director of women as George Cukor could have brought to Pygmalion’s story. While My Fair Lady may be seen as a conservative work, it subtly challenges the norms of the masculine world in which Eliza Doolittle had to navigate. Audrey Hepburn’s casting in this role, while not without controversy, added not only grace to the film but also introduced deeper layers of meaning that modern viewers can explore and enjoy, all set to the rhythm of outstanding songs.
My Fair Lady, winner of 8 Academy Awards, will be showcased at the Timeless Film Festival Warsaw in DCP format. It features the latest outstanding 4K restoration from 2015, overseen by the renowned classic cinema restoration guru, Robert A. Harris.
Have we seen this face a million times?
By all means.
Is there a more obvious icon of classic cinema?
Does this imply that films starring her should no longer be considered worth watching?
By no means.