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FILM Review: ‘The Messenger’ (Pasikowski, 2019) – ‘a high-end spy thriller’

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One might call director Władysław Pasikowski the master of WWII drama on film. His new feature, The Messenger (pol.: Kurier), is the latest in a series of movies about the experience of the Second World War in Poland from different perspectives. This time, he’s chosen to focus on the nigh-legendary figure of Jan Nowak-Jeziorański (1914-2005). Called…

Julia Secklehner | 13/07/2019
Photo: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/songs-of-lear-2/

THEATRE Review: ‘Songs of Lear’ performed by The Song of the Goat Theatre – ‘where inspiration meets high culture with unrefined expression’

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The Shakespeare and Poland Festival at the Globe – a two week exploration of the relationship between the playwright and the Polish nation – concluded with the probably most anticipated element of the programme: Songs of Lear performed by The Song of the Goat Theatre on Saturday, 6thJuly. The Wrocław based theatre company, created by Grzegorz…

Iga Szczodrowska | 11/07/2019
Plenty, 1999. Cate Blanchett in David Hare’s play, directed for the Almeida by Jonathan Kent,
at the Albery theatre, London. Photo: Ivan Kyncl / courtesy of V&A.

Exhibition Review: “Ivan Kyncl: In The Minute” – ‘capturing the feel of a show in one click’

Ivan Kyncl: In the Minute marks 15 years since the death of the acclaimed, Czech-born theatre photographer Ivan Kyncl (1953-2004). His archive, acquired by the V&A in 2018, comprises over 100,000 negatives and is considered to be one of the richest chronicles of the British stage in the late 20th century. Focusing on the possibilities of theatre photography, the exhibition brilliantly…

Svetlana Smirnova | 04/07/2019
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Film Review: ‘Sunset’ (Nemes, 2018) + Q&A with Director László Nemes & Co-Writer Clare Royer – “a world on the brink of self-destruction”

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Before the film was screened, László Nemes advised the audience: ‘You’ll not need facts you usually need.’ And: ‘Accept the lack of control.’  There’s a nightmarish, disorderly quality in the bleached-out images of a pre-war Budapest of 1913 as the film opens. A young woman tries on hats in an exclusive hat shop. Scenes soon…

Alison Miller | 16/06/2019
(c) Sasha Dovzhyk

Film Review: “The Trial: The state of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov ” (Kurov, 2017) – ‘informative and inspirational’

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In 2015 when Ukrainian, Crimean patriot Oleg Sentsov was convicted of trumped-up terrorist crimes he didn’t commit, the Moscow district court was told he’s not afraid of the twenty year sentence – ‘the rule of blood thirsty dwarves in your country will end sooner’. Askold Kurov’s documentary frames the progress of Sentsov’s trial in the…

Alison Miller | 30/05/2019
Still from "My friend, the Polish girl"

***KINOTEKA 2019*** Round up: “Professionalism has no gender.”

The 17th Polish Film Festival Kinoteka in London, featuring a selection of over forty different works, has served as a fitting example of positive direction within the issue of gender inequality in Polish cinema. The festival started and ended celebrating the success of Polish prominent men (opening with Another Day of Life, an homage to renowned Polish corresponder Ryszard Kapuscinski, and finishing with a gala celebrating…

Iga Szczodrowska | 19/04/2019
Still from "Ether" (Zanussi, 2018)

***KINOTEKA 2019*** Interview with Film-Maker Krzysztof Zanussi, Part One: “Life’s like being in a jungle. One wrong step and you’re lost.”

CEEL contributor Alison Miller met Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi before the screening of his latest film, Ether (2018), at the 17th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival in London. Alison Miller:  What I found fascinating about Ether was the way the philosophical questions were posed along-side a powerful historical drama – emotion was infused from one scene to the…

Alison Miller | 16/04/2019
Film Still from "Monument" (Szelc, 2018)

KINOTEKA Preview: “Monument” (Szelc, 2018) – “experimental raw cinema”

After the tremendous success of her film debut Tower. Bright Day last year, Jagoda Szelc took up the seemingly risky yet ultimately rewarding task of directing an Acting degree show for Lodz Film School students. The challenges of such task included an extremely low budget (Szelc often describes it as a “nano-budget” in interviews) and the…

Iga Szczodrowska | 09/04/2019