April 8—15, 2024


Once in a Lifetime. Special Screenings at Timeless Film Festival Warsaw

This section presents a collection of cinematic gems. A selection of one-of-a-kind films, legendary works commemorating round anniversaries, or hidden treasures from the margins, and stories from long ago shining with renewed brilliance. Join us for the Special Screenings at Timeless Film Festival Warsaw. Passes and tickets for individual screenings are now available for purchase.

We begin with a clash of giants: the festival program features films that in 1994 – exactly 30 years ago – competed for the most prestigious award in art cinema. It’s a story every cinephile knows well: Clint Eastwood heads the Cannes jury, awarding the Palme d’Or to Quentin Tarantino for Pulp Fiction, leaving behind Three Colors: Red by the Polish maestro, Krzysztof Kieślowski. This symbolic event marks the triumph of cinematic postmodernism over traditional cinema. We are pleased to celebrate both films, both outstanding in their category. It’s up to you to decide whether to indulge in serious reflections or loose talk about hamburgers. There is nothing to prevent you from doing both.

​​We strike a balance between classics and novelties with the premiere screening of the Venice Award-winning Evil Does Not Exist (Aku wa sonzai shinai, Japan 2023), directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (distributed by Gutek Film). This presents an opportunity to watch the feature-length expansion of the experimental GIFT (Japan 2023), with which Eiko Ishibashi, author of the music for both projects, came to Timeless. Our guest will also meet with viewers after the screening of Evil Does Not Exist.

Old and new are united by a special analog project by Charlie Shackleton. The Afterlight (UK 2021) exists solely on a single 35mm film, narrating the story of the titular bar frequented by cinematic legends like Humphrey Bogart, Zbyszek Cybulski, and Katharine Hepburn. Paired with the short film Train Again (dir. Peter Tscherkassky, Austria 2019), The Afterlight on 35mm film symbolizes impermanence in the most exquisite manner, embodying the ephemeral nature of cinema’s history.

Fortunately, some masterpieces are perennial companions, enriching our cinephilic journey:  the Timeless program includes two perpetual classics that not only deliver ferocious satisfaction but also offer brilliant commentary on the medium itself. Chinatown (dir. Roman Polański, USA 1974) revolutionizes Hollywood, departing from traditional cinema noir schemes, while Rear Window (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, USA 1954) takes a perverse pleasure in exploring the allure of voyeurism, both onscreen and off. The two films celebrate round anniversaries this year.

Stop Making Sense, meticulously restored by A24, will also grace our screens for an anniversary screening. Arguably the best concert film in the history of cinema came from the hand of Jonathan Demme, but Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is equally the author of this breathtaking musical spectacle. It’s been 40 years since the memorable tour, but this performance still gives goosebumps.

Lastly, we recommend taking a close look at unique discoveries. Never shown in Poland, About Some Meaningless Events (Ahdate bila dalala, 1974) stands as one of the most significant Moroccan films, long suppressed by censors, crafted by Mostafa Derkaoui, a graduate of the Lodz Film School. Moreover, the Polish Film Chronicles set, a set from the 1990s, offers a glimpse into the transitional period of Polish cinema. Both screenings offer a journey into the past, along untrodden paths that offer images which remain astonishing from today’s perspective.