Martin Scorsese presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

Co-presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

 

 

 

Over the years, Martin Scorsese has proved to be as much of a fantastic film scholar as he has been a filmmaker. With expert touches, he’s given us a hometown look at our own national cinema with the long-form doc “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies”, and the Italian canon with “My Voyage To Italy”. Armed with a truckload of impossibly cool films once again, Scorsese now gives filmgoers a master class in Polish cinema of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s — a fertile, imaginative world that few Americans have previously explored — with newly-restored editions of 21 personally selected masterpieces featured in a national tour.

 

Cinefamily is proud to partner with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for this series, which takes places in our own house alongside LACMA’s Bing Theater. Check out more info on the whole series schedule.

 

Plus, the Academy’s been kind enough to let us give away 3 pairs of tickets to each of their remaining Bing Theater shows in the series, starting with their Friday, May 9th double feature. We’re offering all current Cinefamily members a first-come, first-serve chance to take a pair of these tix. Come visit the Cinefamily box office when the theater’s open for business, and take a look at the sign-up sheet to see which shows still have free tickets remaining!

 

BUY TICKETS ($12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change):
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THE ILLUMINATION:
- Saturday 5/3, 4:30pm (filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi in person!)

 

THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT:
- Monday 6/2, 7:45pm
- Tuesday 6/3, 7:45pm

 

THE HOURGLASS SANATORIUM:
- Monday 6/9, 7:30pm
- Wednesday 6/11, 7:30pm

 

 

Series organized by Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory, CRF and The Film Foundation, in cooperation with Kino RP, Milestone Films, Tor, Zebra and Kadr, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Film Institute and the Polish National Audiovisual Institute.

 

The Hourglass Sanatorium (6/11)

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6/11/2014 - 7:30PM

“An adult ‘Alice in Wonderland’…an exploration of waking and dreaming, without the relief of an objective eye to distance the trip.” — The Quietus

As the roving camera enters deeper and deeper into a dilapidated labyrinth of nightmare sets on par with The Shining’s Overlook Hotel for sheer surreal splendor, Wojciech Has’s The Hourglass Sanatorium unfolds as a stunning, visionary reflection on the nature of time — one which makes Has’s previous Möbius-strip fairytale The Saragossa Manuscript look straightforward by comparison. Joseph (veteran Polish actor Jan Nowicki), woken by a blind Charon-like conductor on an uncomfortably evocative train full of Jews, is visiting his father in a strange, magnificently decrepit sanatorium. Once a bevy of scifi-ish timeslips start occurring, all conventional notions of linearity are out the window, in favour of an unsettling picaresque through memory and fantasy. This bewildering purgatory is replete with an invisible bureaucracy that arrests Joseph for his dreams, copious skulls, cobwebs, semi-sentient clockwork mannequins and women in various states of undress. A tour de force of atmospherics and winner of the ‘73 Jury Prize at Cannes, Hourglass mingles allegory, metaphor, the horror of the Shoah and the passing of a particular form of Jewish European culture, to produce a stunning head-trip of a movie. DJ Jon Puppo (KXLU’s “A Fistful Of Vinyl”) will be here to spin tunes before the show!
Dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973, DCP, 124 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer from “The Hourglass Sanatorium”!

The Hourglass Sanatorium (6/9)

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6/9/2014 - 7:30PM

“An adult ‘Alice in Wonderland’…an exploration of waking and dreaming, without the relief of an objective eye to distance the trip.” — The Quietus

As the roving camera enters deeper and deeper into a dilapidated labyrinth of nightmare sets on par with The Shining’s Overlook Hotel for sheer surreal splendor, Wojciech Has’s The Hourglass Sanatorium unfolds as a stunning, visionary reflection on the nature of time — one which makes Has’s previous Möbius-strip fairytale The Saragossa Manuscript look straightforward by comparison. Joseph (veteran Polish actor Jan Nowicki), woken by a blind Charon-like conductor on an uncomfortably evocative train full of Jews, is visiting his father in a strange, magnificently decrepit sanatorium. Once a bevy of scifi-ish timeslips start occurring, all conventional notions of linearity are out the window, in favour of an unsettling picaresque through memory and fantasy. This bewildering purgatory is replete with an invisible bureaucracy that arrests Joseph for his dreams, copious skulls, cobwebs, semi-sentient clockwork mannequins and women in various states of undress. A tour de force of atmospherics and winner of the ‘73 Jury Prize at Cannes, Hourglass mingles allegory, metaphor, the horror of the Shoah and the passing of a particular form of Jewish European culture, to produce a stunning head-trip of a movie. DJ Vickki (The Echo) will be to spin tunes before the show!
Dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973, DCP, 124 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer from “The Hourglass Sanatorium”!

The Saragossa Manuscript (6/3)

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6/3/2014 - 7:45PM

“I saw the film three times, which, in my case, is absolutely exceptional.” — Luis Buñuel

Coppola, Scorsese, von Trier and Lynch have all publicly proclaimed their love for this sprawling meditation on the very essence of storytelling — and it’s easy to see why, for The Saragossa Manuscript is truly a “filmmaker’s film.” It’s a joyful Polish version of a Russian doll, an interlocking dose of meta-meta-narrative: during the Napoleonic Wars, two enemy soldiers stumble across a captivating book that tells of an earlier soldier’s trip down a magical realism rabbit hole. Inside that story, another flashback is told and so on, until the viewer is on an intertwining helix of absurd and whimsical proportions. Director Wojciech Has revels in the grounded Gothic iconography at hand (supernatural gypsies, potions drunk from skulls, mysterious lynchings, Satanic panic) while emotionally lifting the viewer one more layer off the ground with each passing step through this mystic, mythic and miraculous Möbius strip.
Dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1965, DCP, 185 min..

Watch the trailer for “The Saragossa Manuscript”!

The Saragossa Manuscript (6/2)

sargossa_480_309
6/2/2014 - 7:45PM

“I saw the film three times, which, in my case, is absolutely exceptional.” — Luis Buñuel

Coppola, Scorsese, von Trier and Lynch have all publicly proclaimed their love for this sprawling meditation on the very essence of storytelling — and it’s easy to see why, for The Saragossa Manuscript is truly a “filmmaker’s film.” It’s a joyful Polish version of a Russian doll, an interlocking dose of meta-meta-narrative: during the Napoleonic Wars, two enemy soldiers stumble across a captivating book that tells of an earlier soldier’s trip down a magical realism rabbit hole. Inside that story, another flashback is told and so on, until the viewer is on an intertwining helix of absurd and whimsical proportions. Director Wojciech Has revels in the grounded Gothic iconography at hand (supernatural gypsies, potions drunk from skulls, mysterious lynchings, Satanic panic) while emotionally lifting the viewer one more layer off the ground with each passing step through this mystic, mythic and miraculous Möbius strip.
Dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1965, DCP, 185 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Saragossa Manuscript”!

The Illumination (director Krzysztof Zanussi in person!)

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5/3/2014 - 4:30PM

Filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi in person! As the ‘60s crashed into the ‘70s, our homegrown American cinematic rebellion manifested in such kaleidoscopic elements as Easy Rider’s rebel yell, or the soul-searching of Five Easy Pieces. At that same time in Poland, that rebellion took the form of Krzysztof Zanussi’s landmark The Illumination, which blends physics, metaphysics, art, artifice and an unflinching take on the disaffected collegiate class into a generation-defining mosaic — a shocking raised fist to the Iron Curtain establishment. Zanussi’s first years were spent studying both science and philosophy, which highly inform this autobiographical narrative/doc/essay excursion into life’s universal questions, as seen through the lens of a wayward grad student grappling with money, responsibility and existential anguish. It’s a miracle how Zanussi pushed The Illumination through Communist censorship, given that it’s not only totally alive with enough energy to irk a bureau’s worth of Bloc-heads, but that it also includes characters openly questioning why they bother staying in Poland (answer: so that they can gain enough work experience and ditch it, natch.) A brilliant burst of precision, intellect and emotion.
Dir. Krzystof Zanussi, 1973, DCP, 91 min.

Check out Cinefamily’s original trailer for “The Illumination”!

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