Poland: Grotesques

  1. Overview
  2. Description

The grotesque and its baroque and bizarre world are given a central place in Polish animation.

The title of this programme may look provocative but in fact, the grotesque can be seen in a number of exceptional Polish live action films, from Roman Polanski and Andrzej Zulawski to Jerzy Skolimowski, placing great importance on ornamentation, unusual details or caricatured farces oddly adhering them to dramas or even tragedies. Polish animation is also very fond of this characteristic, especially such masters as Walerian Borowczyk, Jan Lenica and Zbigniew Rybczynski who all promote a baroque writing style that mixes fantastic, comic and troubling effects. From Borowczyk and Lenica's inescapable classic House to the spectacular and outrageous Paths of Hate by Damian Nenow, this programme goes through 50 years of Polish animation history emphasising of the permanency of this aesthetic style.

We will also be able to discover the singular work of Julian Antonisz who draws his dark tone stories with a real "punk" sensitivity directly onto film (incidentally, What Do We See After Closing Our Eyes dates back to 1978).

However, Tomasz Kozak's Gentleman’s Romance (Romans dzentelmena) is the most eloquent illustration of the use of grotesque in the films in this programme, by its extravagant and frightening world where sexuality is expressed through an exacerbated style.

Marcel JEAN