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New horizons in the language of cinema
New horizons in the language of cinema

Why is it cut in this way? Where is all the noise coming from? How did they make the play on colours? And, most importantly, what for? How does it relate to the plot? How has form changed recently? The key idea of New horizons in the language of cinema is to take a closer look at the transformations that have taken place over the last decade and runs in parallel to ENH. Every year, two hosts, film expert Grzegorz Kurek and critic Jan Topolski, along with an artist invited for the occasion, present ten films with a short introductory talk and conclude with an analysis and a discussion at the end. It is essential not to limit the examples to festival hits but also to include productions available for wider distribution and even blockbusters. The first film will be a historic masterpiece which establishes canon and raises questions about the future.

In 2009, the central theme was editing (guest Krzysztof Szpetmański); in 2010, it is photography (guest Bogdan Dziworski). Further plans include sound, film set and special effects. Each year, our changing trio, tends to focus on different elements and we also invite authors who frequently give surprising justifications for their decisions. Last year, we invited Mike Figgis (who mixed live Timecode), György Pálfi (talking about trained animals in Hukkle) and Johan Grimonprez (in a teleconference with a mobile and a microphone about Double Take). This year the following will drop by: Peter Mettler (director of the visually and technically stunning Petropolis); César Charlone (winner of photography awards for such films as Blindness); Pierre-Paul Renders (visionary of media exchange in Thomas in Love); Peter Hjørth (a long-time assistant to von Trier, including the film The Boss of It All) .

This year, our master and guide to the world of photography will be Professor Bogdan Dziworski, director of many documentaries and cameraman in Na wylot and Wieczne pretensje by Grzegorz Królikiewicz. For the inauguration of the cycle and festival we will show for the first time in many years in Poland, a masterpiece of 35mm film dubbed by many to be one of the most beautiful films ever made - the picturesque and epic Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick. Key questions that we want to ask include those about direction, context and the meaning of the technological changes in film medium which introduce a basic dilemma, 'analogue or digital?' To support the first one, we have selected two classically beautiful and brilliantly interrelated films in terms of their form and content, Blindness by Fernando Meirelles and the creative documentary Prisoner by Bogdan Dziworski. For the second one, we have selected two classically low-budget films, set in one room, Tape by Richard Linklater (the first cinema showing in Poland!) and [Rec] by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza which skilfully join together the conventions of a horror film and a documentary, and the reporter and YouTube styles.

On the opposite side, space technology seems to relate Barry Lyndon with the ecological documentary Petropolis by Peter Mettler (who is equally highly regarded as a director and a cameraman) shot from a bird's-eye view using hi-tech zooms and image stabilizers. Another comprehensive question refers to the stylization produced by both analogue filters and digital post-production, from Of Freaks and Men by Aleksei Balabanov (the first cinema showing in Poland!) immersed in the sepia-toned style of 19th century erotic photography, through designer's Internet images of an agoraphobic Thomas in Love by Pierre-Paul Renders. The latter is an example of what has become quite fashionable in cinema, that is, 'first person perspective' which consistently assumes the protagonist's point of view. This idea is taken to extremes by Gaspar Noé in his new techno-era trance film Enter the Void, by mixing together neon signs, animations, images, trips...,. In such a way, the central meaning is attached to The Boss of It All by Lars von Trier, another duel by a genius with both convention and limitation. This time, we have a comedy about office life and a computer system, Automavison, which controls the camera without a ... cameraman. We have plenty to talk about!

Jan Topolski

The text was partially based on Nowe horyzonty - nie tylko języka filmowego, published in "Ha!art" 7-8/2010.

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