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April 8—15, 2024

Warsaw

Marcin Giżycki’s Top Ten


Marcin Giżycki was a figure of Renaissance talent. Art historian, critic, pedagogue, and author of many extremely absorbing books and documentaries, both animated and featured. Above all, he was an exceptional individual. He passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, on the 20th of October 2022. At that time, he was in the process of making a documentary about the history of animation, in which I had the privilege of participating.

I had the pleasure of enjoying his friendship for over forty years. Cinema brought us together, especially animated cinema, and music, specifically blues. We enjoyed immersing ourselves in those themes – not only the current but also the past, in their histories and prehistories.

For the 55th anniversary of Polish animation, celebrated in 2004, Marcin presented a selection of “Ten films that shook the world.” Twenty years after that event, and thus on the 75th anniversary, Roman Gutek, director of Timeless Film Festival Warsaw, suggested that I recall those ten films, as well as create my own list.

I accepted the proposal with great excitement, however, as I sat down to compile my “Ten films that…,” I realised that 80 percent, therefore as many as eight titles, overlapped with Marcin’s nominations. Film and music were our initial connection, however essentially, we shared a taste, a similar perspective. Consequently, I created “Jerzy Armata’s Ten,” which I strongly believe would also, or at least for the most part, be Marcin’s “Second Ten.”

Jerzy Armata

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partner of the screening

partner of the screening

partner of the screening

DATE

April 10, 2024

TIME

6:15 PM

VENUE

Kino Iluzjon Mała Czarna

COPY / OTHERS

DATE

April 12, 2024

TIME

1:30 PM

VENUE

Kino Iluzjon Mała Czarna

COPY / OTHERS

ENGLISH TITLE

Marcin Giżycki’s Top Ten

SECTION

DURATION

92 min

LANGUAGE

Polish

SUBTITLES

English

SALES

WFDiF, Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny

DECADE

EDITION

TRIGGER WARNING

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– ???

House

ENGLISH TITLE

House

ORIGINAL TITLE

Dom

DIRECTOR

Walerian Borowczyk, Jan Lenica

DURATION

11 min

YEAR

1958

COUNTRY

Poland

Inspired by the 1920s French avant-garde, the final collective film by Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica. An unconventional plot made up of vaguely related scenes, that are being played out in an old art nouveau residence.

Jerzy Armata


The Chair

ENGLISH TITLE

The Chair

ORIGINAL TITLE

Fotel

DIRECTOR

Daniel Szczechura

DURATION

6 min

YEAR

1963

COUNTRY

Poland

The battle for a vacant seat at the presidential table continues. Racing for the empty seat provokes pushing, pulling, and deception. A penetrating analysis of the struggle for power, superb in its pliable asceticism and anecdotal brevity.

Jerzy Armata


Cages

ENGLISH TITLE

Cages

ORIGINAL TITLE

Klatki

DIRECTOR

Mirosław Kijowicz

DURATION

7 min

YEAR

1966

COUNTRY

Poland

A story of entanglements – individuality in conflict with an increasingly oppressive system, reviewing the relationship of prisoner and guard, or  rather,, of authority and impotence. The filmmaker presents power as threatening, yet simultaneously illusory. Can the one in its possession ever be liberated?

Jerzy Armata


The Roll-Call

ENGLISH TITLE

The Roll-Call

ORIGINAL TITLE

Apel

DIRECTOR

Ryszard Czekała

DURATION

7 min

YEAR

1970

COUNTRY

Poland

The roll call square of a concentration camp. A German officer, opposite prisoners standing in tight formation. Executioner and victims. Orders are given: “Get down! Get up!”. Whoever resists is immediately shot. Afterward, those remaining slowly rise…

Jerzy Armata


A Gentle Spirit

ENGLISH TITLE

A Gentle Spirit

ORIGINAL TITLE

Łagodna

DIRECTOR

Piotr Dumała

DURATION

11 min

YEAR

1985

COUNTRY

Poland

Visually effective and psychologically profound – an impression of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story. An evocative study of jealousy and hatred, reinforced by an unconventional use of animation technique, and poignant music by Zygmunt Konieczny.

Jerzy Armata


Labyrinth

ENGLISH TITLE

Labyrinth

ORIGINAL TITLE

Labirynt

DIRECTOR

Jan Lenica

DURATION

14 min

YEAR

1962

COUNTRY

Poland

“It’s difficult to remain human in a surreal reality. It’s also difficult to escape it,” suggested Lenica. His compelling tale about a winged man, who suddenly finds himself in the labyrinth of a strange city, fascinates, amuses, and frightens all at the same time.

Jerzy Armata


Red and Black

ENGLISH TITLE

Red and Black

ORIGINAL TITLE

Czerwone i czarne

DIRECTOR

Witold Giersz

DURATION

6 min

YEAR

1963

COUNTRY

Poland

Full of suspense, humour, and unexpected twists, a story of a perpetual conflict between the  colours of the title, one personified by a toreador, the other embodied by a bull. A perfect reinvigoration of the two unfettered tones.

Jerzy Armata


Everything Is a Number

ENGLISH TITLE

Everything Is a Number

ORIGINAL TITLE

Wszystko jest liczbą

DIRECTOR

Stefan Schabenbeck

DURATION

7 min

YEAR

1966

COUNTRY

Poland

A parable of a man rebelling against his surrounding reality; the feeling of societal reduction, and a lack of agency. In a world in which everything is a number, he becomes a oneness, existing in lonely singularity.

Jerzy Armata


Tango

ENGLISH TITLE

Tango

ORIGINAL TITLE

Tango

DIRECTOR

Zbigniew Rybczyński

DURATION

8 min

YEAR

1980

COUNTRY

Poland

An extremely condensed account – a story of a room. Hence, within four walls, disparate events from the past, are being simultaneously enacted by participants of greater, or lesser significance. Chance or fate? Oscar winner for Best Animated Short in 1983.

Jerzy Armata


Tuning The Instruments

ENGLISH TITLE

Tuning The Instruments

ORIGINAL TITLE

Strojenie instrumentów

DIRECTOR

Jerzy Kucia

DURATION

15 min

YEAR

2000

COUNTRY

Poland

Contemplative cinema. Existential meditation replaces traditional action. In this case, a study of what has irretrievably passed, of time gone by. The logic of sequentiality, and linear succession of events, is replaced by the principle of memory, or else sensibility. A distinct testimony of being and human  complexity.

Jerzy Armata