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April 8—15, 2024

Warsaw

Małe Instrumenty | Buster Keaton: Mechanical Dreams


What did Buster Keaton dream about? Observing his intricately crafted short films, one might imagine dreams of self-assembling houses, fantasies involving impersonating multiple characters simultaneously, and a house so modern that it transforms into a trap for its inhabitants. The mechanical dreams of this brilliant comedian prove that laughter can be induced with engineering precision while instilling a passion for tinkering. Providing the musical setting for this screening, suitable for all ages, will be the Wroclaw-based ensemble Małe Instrumenty.

Paweł Romańczuk, the group’s founder, draws parallels between Keaton’s art and Małe Instrumenty, stating, “For a set of short films by Buster Keaton, we will play according to their character, emphasizing dynamic action, quick changes of scenery and situations, and witty surprises. A big inspiration for us is the 1922 film The Electric House, brimming with ‘modern’ inventions of home infrastructure, which will be reflected in the music performed on sound mechanisms created in our studio.”

One Week, The Playhouse and The Electric House are true gems – short films made with such passion for cinema and slapstick that they remain timeless, contemporary tales, overwhelming in their creativity and flair of staging. In a concert filled with musical attractions and experiments, Małe Instrumenty will affirm that Keaton is one of us: a man who combats the malice of inanimate things while occasionally embracing technical innovations with which he interacts in absurd ways.

Sebastian Smoliński

Małe Instrumenty, founded in 2006 by Paweł Romańczuk, the Wroclaw-based art group Małe Instrumenty (lit. small instruments) focuses on sound exploration with unconventional musical instruments. Leveraging unique sounds, they release music on CDs, record for film and theater, using it to complement text and movement. Their extensive collection of rare instruments enables a diverse orchestral spectrum, incorporating sound toys, educational instruments, playing objects, mechanisms, exotic ethnic instruments, and hand-built sound sources. Since their first concert in 2007 at the New Horizons Festival (the group presented its own versions of film music by Julian Józef Antonisz), Małe Instrumenty has participated in numerous music, film, and theater festivals across Europe.

Concert partner

DATE

April 14, 2024

TIME

12:00 PM

VENUE

POLIN Museum

SECTION

DURATION

70 min

RIGHTS

Lobster Films

COPY / EVENT TIME

DECADE

EDITION

Keaton had a great influence on me. I certainly intuitively copied a lot of his moves in doing certain numbers. I know that I was thinking of him when I did a dance with a squeaky board and w newspaper, and yet I didn’t look like him. I often wish I did. He was a complete genius, and there was a lot of dance inherently in his movements. They were balletic.

– Gene Kelly

The Playhouse

LANGUAGE

intertitles in English

SUBTITLES

Polish

DIRECTORS

Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

DURATION

23 min

YEAR

1921

COUNTRY

USA


The Electric House

LANGUAGE

intertitles in English

SUBTITLES

Polish

DIRECTORS

Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

DURATION

23 min

YEAR

1922

COUNTRY

USA


One Week

LANGUAGE

intertitles in English

SUBTITLES

Polish

DIRECTORS

Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

DURATION

25 min

YEAR

1920

COUNTRY

USA