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PREVIEW: The Image Speaks: Miloš Forman and the Free Cinema Movement

‘The importance of ordinary people, the everyday, belief in artistic freedom and the rejection of established cinematic norms are some of the principles common to the early work of Czech director Milos Forman and the British Free Cinema movement. This programme, jointly curated with Close-Up and screening from original 16mm and 35mm prints, marks Miloš…

Robin Ashenden | April 9, 2017
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KINOTEKA REVIEW: ‘The Last Stage’ – Wanda Jakubowska’s 1948 retelling of the Holocaust has lost none of its shocking narrative power

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Wanda Jakubowska’s The Last Stage (Ostatni Etap) is one of the world’s earliest feature films about the Holocaust, premiering in Poland as early as March 1948. It’s also a personal narrative: partly based on Jakubowska’s own experiences at Birkenau women’s camp at Auschwitz, The Last Stage chronicles life in the camp from a personal angle, filmed on…

Julia Secklehner | April 2, 2017
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KINOTEKA REVIEW: ‘The Eccentrics: The Sunny Side of the Street’ (Majewski, 2015) – Big Band 1950s drama never quite tinkles the ivories

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Janusz Majewski’s film The Eccentrics (Excentrycy) bagged several awards at the Polish Academy Awards in 2016, including best supporting actor and actress (Wojciech Pszoniak and Anna Dymna), and best film score. Least surprising is the latter, given that it’s a musical comedy, which focuses on a Jazz Big Band in 1950s communist Poland. Fabian Apanowicz…

Julia Secklehner | March 25, 2017
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OGNISKO KINOCLUB REVIEW: ’80 Million’: Ocean’s 11 meets Solidarity in Waldemar Krzystek’s fast-paced thriller

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In 80 Million, the 2011 film from Waldemar Krzystek, Ocean’s 11 meets the Solidarity Movement in 1980s Poland. It’s fast paced, witty, fun and easy, yet driven by an idealism which the American blockbuster lacks. Directed by Waldemar Krzystek in 2011, it’s set the tone for a new way of approaching Poland’s experience of communism. ‘We didn’t…

Paula Erizanu | March 23, 2017
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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Voices from Chernobyl’ – Ténéré Arte’s brilliant, ghostly retelling of the world’s worst nuclear disaster

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Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl collected the testimonies of survivors from the nuclear disaster: military personnel, medical professionals, and, most importantly, ordinary people. Her book is a series of stories that tell the untold: how little the people in the Soviet Union, and especially the Ukraine and Belarus, knew about what happened the night the…

Julia Secklehner | March 12, 2017
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FILM AND DISCUSSION: Alois Nebel (2012)

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  Endless train timetables. Russian border patrol. Patches of forest that swallow you up. A thick fog that brings it memories of a time long gone. Anything but an ordinary film, Tomáš Luňák’s interpretation of Jaromir99’s graphic novel trilogy about the train dispatcher Alois Nebel is a full-length, animated drama, playing at a pivotal moment…

Julia Secklehner | March 7, 2017