Books: W.J. Has

HAS Ed. Robert Kardzis

An exhibition dedicated to Jerzy Wojciech Has will be accompanied by a catalogue with an extensive, possibly the most detailed so far, biography of J.W. Has. Instead of critical texts typical for such a publication, the reader will be able to see film stills, photos from film sets and private photographs with which we will attempt to tell about the life and work of this outstanding director.


Dzieje grzechu. Surrealizm w kinie polskim / A Story of Sin. Surrealism in Polish Cinema Ed. Kamila Wielebska and Kuba Mikurda

(two-language publication)

A view of Polish cinema emerging from publications, conferences and commentaries of Western film experts usually tends to come down to three dominant film traditions, the Polish School, the Cinema of Moral Anxiety and the Polish film surrealism. The first two have been widely discussed in writings by both Polish and foreign researchers. The third has become known to Polish readers almost exclusively from dispersed articles published in the Western film press. A Story of Sin. Surrealism in Polish Cinema, an exhaustive pioneer publication contributed to by authors from Poland and the United Kingdom, fills this serious gap.

The book A Story of Sin fulfils a double role as it uncovers to Polish readers the 'ill-present', unobvious face of Polish cinematography, and for an English-speaking reader, it is an invaluable guide to the surrealist terra incognita whose outlines are recognized by the authors of the collection in films by Wojciech Jerzy Has, Walerian Borowczyk, Andrzej Żuławski, Roman Polański, Jan Lenica, Piotr Szulkin, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Lech Majewski, Tadeusz Konwicki and many other filmmakers.

A spur to writing the book was the tenth anniversary of Wojciech Jerzy Has' death. Its editors along with guests made an attempt to reconstruct the surrealist tradition in Polish cinema. Can the surrealist tradition become a main 'well-present' and inspiring alternative to film realism in Polish cinematography? What does the specific nature of 'Polish surrealism' involve? How can Polish surrealism be put in a wider cultural and social and political context against a strong tradition of Romanticism, Socialist realism and Catholicism? What combines surrealism in fine arts with its on-screen manifestations? These are some of the questions raised by the authors of the collection.

The authors include Daniel Bird, Marcin Giżycki, Barbara Klonowska, Kamila Kuc, Paulina Kwas, Jakub Majmurek, Kuba Mikurda, Michael O'Pray, Jonathan L. Owen, Agnieszka Taborska, Kamila Wielebska.


The festival co-funded publications dedicated to central figures of retrospectives at the 10th IFF Era New Horizons which are available in bookstores across Poland:

Marcin Maron Dramat czasu i wyobraźni. Filmy Wojciecha J. Hasa (published by UNIVERSITAS, Kraków 2010)

A book based on the doctoral thesis of the author, completed with honours in the Institute of Audiovisual Arts at the Faculty of Management and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2009, contains analyses and interpretations of all the director’s feature films. Their main motif is experience of time understood as man’s subjective experience. It is time of consciousness, memory and imagination existing on the screen owing to a characteristic idea of a character and film visualization. In addition, analyses of films reveal how the director connected subjective experience of time with existential, historical and philosophical issues. An essential motif of the book is a literary context of Has’ works (film adaptations of literature) and influences of the Romantic tradition on the formula of poetic cinema created by him. Because of the links Has’ characters bear a hallmark of individual time experience introducing the viewer into an area of art where experience may come into being into even a wider dimension.

Marcin Maron (1972), educated as a cameraman, since 2009 has worked as a lecturer in the Visual Studies Unit of the Institute of Fine Arts at the Faculty of Arts in the Maria Curie Skłodowska University; he gives classes in Photography, monographic lectures on Selected Issues from Literature, Film and Theatre and lectures Theatre and Film Studies. He is working on a history of Polish film and relations between literature and film. He a lecturer at the Academy of Polish Film, organized by the Polish Film Institute.

10th edition archive website (year 2010).
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