Home > Animation, Books, Film, Polish Animation, Video > Polish Cinema Now! Focus on Contemporary Polish Cinema

Polish Cinema Now! Focus on Contemporary Polish Cinema


I think it’s a very important book on English market, especially when you realise there’s so little on the subject. The funny thing is that when Poland was behind the iron curtain (up to 1989) and when state censorship tried to manipulate almost every aspect of people’s lives, including films, many of the productions were actually known worldwide. Everybody knew (and still does) names like Kieslowski or Wajda probably as much as the Polish School of Animation (the term used in the 60s of the last century). All that was good and valuable, inspirational and put high on intellectual heights. And I think it still plays an important role in Polish culture in general, even though it’s just (as some might say) a part of the past. 

However, and I do mean it, I may feel slightly fed up with that constant re-discovering Poland, its culture and artefacts in the context of Soviet domination as if there was nothing more on offer (which is, by the way, completely untrue). And that’s exactly why Polish Cinema Now! is so important – it creates a bridge between the past and the present. It identifies links between history and the present day while pointing out influences, sources but also opposites and changes that occurred as a consequence of replacing the socialist regime with the democratic one. And, above all, it shows that life goes on and, on a daily basis, the past does not have to be in the centre of attention.

Polish Cinema Now! is edited by Mateusz Werner, a Polish film critic and writer and contains of several essays from both Polish and English authors. Only one chapter is dedicated to animation but that’s, to be honest, perfectly fine. It’s informative (gives a number of names, titles and studios), yet well written and keeps you focused long enough to get you to the end in one go.

The book is also accompanied by 2 DVDs which are a selection of short films, among them – several animations: Franz Kafka (1991) by Piotr Dumala; DIM. (1992) by Marek Skrobecki; Hairdresser (Fryzjer, 1996) by Robert Sowa; Tuning the Instruments (Strojenie instrumentow, 2000) by Jerzy Kucia; and The Cathedral (Katedra, 2002) by Tomasz Baginski. The last one was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 2002. And even though it’s not really one of my favourites, this one I show you today:




***An interesting and quite informative review was published online in February this year: Polish Cinema Now! review. Enjoy!

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