April 8—15, 2024


That’s entertainment! A review of musicals at Timeless Film Festival Warsaw

Adored in the US, misunderstood in Poland, the musical genre requires suspension of disbelief, an appreciation for rich staging, and, above all, acceptance of its unique structure, the essence of which are songs that appear spontaneously (so suddenly!). Despite its theatrical origins, the musical is quintessentially cinematic. At Timeless Film Festival Warsaw, we aim to prove that, contrary to popular opinion, there’s something for everyone in this genre.

Part of the program is Musicals Through the Decades – a cross-section of musicals under a genre umbrella from different countries, exploring a variety of aesthetics. From Mark Sandrich’s frivolous Top Hat, the most classic of classic musicals of the 1930s, starring the legendary (and inimitable) duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, to True Stories, the only film directed by Talking Heads’ David Byrne, and the the iconoclastic Dicks: The Musical straight from the A24 stable, Timeless FFW will present the musical in its immeasurable richness. The review is curated by Patrycja Mucha, artistic director of Timeless and co-host, with Katarzyna Czajka-Kominiarczuk, of the podcast Wtem, piosenka dedicated to film musicals.

The Musicals Through the Decades section will feature:

  • Top Hat (dir. Mark Sandrich, USA 1935)
  • A Star Is Born (dir. George Cukor, USA 1954)
  • Adventure in Marienstadt (dir. Leonard Buczkowski, Poland 1954)
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (dir. Jacques Demy, France/RFN 1964)
  • My Fair Lady (dir. George Cukor, USA 1964)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (dir. Norman Jewison, USA 1971)
  • West Indies (dir. Med Hondo, France/Mauritania/Algeria 1979)
  • True Stories (dir. David Byrne, USA 1986)
  • Dicks: The Musical (dir. Larry Charles, USA 2023)

But plenty of musical goodness is hidden in other sections as well. Our special screenings will also include the acclaimed music documentary Stop Making Sense by Jonathan Demme (1984), a treat for Talking Heads fans. Reconstructed last year for its 40th anniversary, the film finally appears in its full glory – offering a combination of a concert viewed from the front row, and the explosive craftsmanship of the author of Silence of the Lambs.

Before we delve into the backstory of our musical section, we give the floor to our friend Michał Oleszczyk, host of the SpoilerMaster podcast, who has dedicated two episodes to musicals from our program. You can travel to the world of technicolor France, inhabited by Catherine Deneuve with an episode about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, or to the turn-of-the-century shtetl with Topol and his daughters in the story of Fiddler on the Roof. [in Polish only]

I have never concealed the fact that the musical is my favorite film genre. There are two reasons for this: one is philosophical, and the other is purely physical. The physical reason is that after watching a good musical, we come out transformed: whistling, singing, dancing, tapping out a different rhythm with the soles of our shoes. The philosophical one is that a musical is grounded in the belief that every moment of our lives has the potential for a sudden, miraculous transformation into a song. From the smooth elegance of Fred & Ginger’s movements in Top Hat to the quirky new wave musical stylings of David Byrne’s True Stories, Timeless offers something to get your feet moving.

– Michał shares his fondness for the genre.

Music pervades the entire festival program, from our musical section to our cinema concerts featuring original compositions for silent films. The stage of the POLIN Museum and the National Philharmonic will feature Wim Mertens, Sinfonia Varsovia performing music by Paweł Mykietyn, the National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in a composition written by Stefan Wesołowski, as well as performances by Eiko Ishibashi, Ellen Arkbro, Dobrawa Czocher, Jozef Van Wissem, and the ensembles Małe Instrumenty and XYLOS. Join us in April to experience a celebration of cinema and music like never before.

February 28, 2024 – Sale of passes and accreditation begins 
March 6, 2024 – Announcement of the complete festival program
March 13, 2024 – Start of online sales of tickets for screenings

co-financed by

partner of the festival