ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: Masters of Polish Animation (w/ live score by Polish supergroup Baaba!)

Co-presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York & UNSOUND NEW YORK Festival

Bizarre, beautiful, densely symbolic and darkly satiric — Polish animation speaks a language undeniably its own. Drawing from a rich history of avant-garde design, surrealist literature and puppet mastery, disillusioned post-war Poles responded to the bleak absurdities of their landscape by re-sculpting the familiar into twisted unrealities, and eschewing traditional narratives for abstracted and ironic allegory. With a breathtakingly diverse range of techniques, their massively influential creations stand as fiercely fantastical and distinctly unique artistic marvels. So great is Cinefamily’s love of Polish animation that we programmed an entire mini-retro of it for our inaugural Animation Breakdown festival back in December, merely dipping our toes in the bottomless pool of awesome shorts. And, when we heard that Warsaw-based prog-jazz supergroup Baaba were bringing their unique set of live scores to our shores, we leapt at the chance to dive back in! Blending jazz, rock, electronica, and funk, Baaba re-imagines soundtracks to an exquisite selection of films from such masters as Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk and Zbigniew Rybczynski — all in gorgeous n’ rare 35mm prints direct from Poland!

Featured shorts include:
Once Upon a Time There Was… / Był sobie raz… dir. Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, 1957, 9”
Banner of the Youth / Sztandar młodych dir. Walerian Borowczyk, 1958, 2’11”
New Book / Nowa książka, dir. Zbigniew Rybczynski, 1975, 10’
The Changing of the Guard / Zmiana warty, dir. Włodzimierz Haupe, Halina Bielińska, 1958, 8” (Cannes ’59)
Stairs / Schody, dir. Stefan Schabenbeck, 1968, 7’13”
The Cat and the Mouse / Myszka i kotek, dir. Władysław Nehrebecki, 1958, 8’30”
Cages / Klatki, dir. Mirosław Kijowicz, 1966, 7’
Chair / Fotel dir. Daniel Szczechura, 1963, 5’30”

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Masters of Polish Animation Reimagined”!

Watch Walerian Borowczyk’s “The Banner of Youth”!
YouTube Preview Image