Masters of Polish Animation: The Classics + The Brothers Quays' "Maska"

Presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York & Cinespia

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. From the mighty moving collages of Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica (pioneers of the cut-out style adopted by reverent Pole-worshipper Terry Gilliam), to the boldly vibrant brushstrokes of Witold Giersz and the frenetic art-brute lunacy of Julian Antonisz, these classics promise to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and — thanks to the Polish Cultural Institute — in beautiful 35mm direct from Poland! Our show culminates in an exclusive screening of the Brothers Quays’ newest eerie oddity, Maska! Twenty-five years after their seminal masterpiece Street of Crocodiles, Maska sees the Quays’ brilliant return to Polish surrealism source material: an adaptation of a story by Polski-lit hero Stanislaw Lem!

Films included in the program:
DOM / THE HOUSE 
Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk (Documentary Film Studio), 1958, 12’ 

LABIRYNT / LABYRINTH 
Jan Lenica (Studio Miniatur Filmowych), 1961, 15’
CZERWONE I CZARNE / RED AND BLACK
 Witold Giersz (Studio Miniatur Filmowych), 1963, 6’30”

WSZYSTKO JEST LICZBĄ / EVERYTHING IS A NUMBER
 Stefan Schabenbeck (Se-Ma-For), 1966, 7’30”

IGRASZKI / PLAYTHINGS
 Kazimierz Urbański (Se-Ma-For), 1962, 7’

FOTEL / THE SEAT  
Daniel Szczechura

KRĄG / THE RING 
Jerzy Kucia, 1978, 7’30”

JAK DZIAŁA JAMNICZEK / HOW A SAUSAGE DOG WORKS Julian Antonisz, 1971, 8’30”

ŚCIANY / WALLS 
Piotr Dumala, 1988, 8 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for our Masters Of Polish Animation retrospective!

Watch the Julian Antonisz short “How A Daschund Dog Works”!
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Watch the teaser trailer for The Brothers Quays’ “Maska”!
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