Welcome


WELCOME to Film Club OKO! WHERE
: POLISH CULTURAL CENTER, Upstairs •
1714 -18th Avenue • Seattle WA 98122. WHEN: THIRD FRIDAY of the month • 7:30 PM (usually, but check for details on each film) • Free admission

Our Mission: Polish Film Club OKO is a private discussion club, affiliated with the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle (a non-profit organization), and devoted to promoting Polish-themed film art in the Pacific Northwest through exposure, education and discussion - ALL FILMS HAVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

ATTENTION FEBRUARY 2019: OKO's mission changed to promote survival of the Polish language among the immigrants: we will still strive to show films with the English subtitles, but it's no longer a major priority. Watch each post for the info on whether the subtitles are provided. We hope you continue to enjoy the Polish Films!

See you at Kino OKO and thank you for being a film friend. OKO logo by Iza Turski.
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Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday, April 26 at 7:30: Audience Choice (vote)


Between March 15 and April 6, you - the audience - have a chance to decide on the next movie (all with English subtitles). Follow this link for film titles, short descriptions, and to vote:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T5YSYKJ 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Friday, March 15 at 7:30: Volta, 2017 by Juliusz Machulski



Volta 
Directed by Juliusz Machulski
Poland, 2017
Comedy, Crime caper
105 minutes
Polish with English subtitles

Plot: Bruno Volta, a spin-doctor and a hustler, meets his challenge when one day his partner, Agnieszka, meets under unusual circumstances a girl named Viki. Agnieszka’s new friend finds a mysterious and extremely precious object in the wall of an old house that grabs Volta’s undivided and total attention: the crown that belonged to Casimir the Great, the last medieval Polish king from Piast dynasty.  Volta cannot miss this million-dollar opportunity. Together with the bodyguard, Dycha, he is ready for anything to get possession of the treasure. However, it will not be as easy as it seems because innocent-looking Viki is in fact a worthy rival. The film takes place in one of Poland’s oldest and most beautiful cities, Lublin, and continues in the tradition of Machulski’s best caper stories: Vabank and Vinci.

Cast:
Andrzej Zielinski, Olga Boladz, Aleksandra Domanska, Michal Zurawski, Jacek Braciak,
Joanna Szczepkowska         

Trailer (in Polish) MOVIE HAS ENGLISH SUBTITLES


Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday, February 15 at 7:30: The Art of Loving. Story of Michalina Wislocka (2017)

Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wisłockiej 
(original title)
IMDb: 7.1


“The Art of Loving", an adaptation of Michalina Wisłocka’s biography, is both a tale about her and about the taboo topic that is Polish sexuality. Humorous and well-acted, the film is well worth watching.
In her version of Michalina Wisłocka’s biography, Maria Sadowska chooses to talk about sex without exaggeration, shy blushing or provocative intent. She does not judge her characters, or moralise over their sometimes questionable choices. In The Art of Loving, sex is neither good nor bad, it’s just a part of everyday life. The story of the famous Polish gynaecologist and sexologist, whose lifestyle guidebook "The Art of Loving" sold over 7 million copies in the 1970s, is a straightforward story about a person whose body and soul are connected into one, indivisible whole. “

Read more about the movie at Culture.pl

Director: Maria Sadowska
Stars: Magdalena BoczarskaEryk LubosTomasz KotBorys SzycJustyna Wasilewska

Official trailer here:


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Friday, January 18 at 7:30: The Last Stage (Polish: Ostatni etap), 1947 film by Wanda Jakubowska





The Last Stage (Polish: Ostatni Etap) is a 1947 feature film directed and co-written by Poland's first female filmmaker Wanda Jakubowska, depicting her experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.  

Plot: A Jewish family from Poland, the Weisses, is sent to Auschwitz where the daughter, Martha, is selected to be an interpreter. The rest of her family is cruelly killed, and Martha and the other Poles must struggle under the tyranny of camp guards and capos.  

Stars: Tatjana Gorecka, Antonina Gordon-Górecka, Barbara Drapinska, Aleksandra Slaska, Edward Dziewonski.  The film won the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1948, and it was nominated for Grand International Award at Venice Film Festival in 1948 and for a BAFTA Award for Best Film from Any Source in 1950. 

The Last Stage was a pioneering work and the first narrative film to portray the Nazi concentration and extermination camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau, an important and historic film that deserves to be reproduced better, but still well worth seeing. Last Stage was made just two years after WWII had ended. 

Amazingly it was filmed in Auschwitz and the Polish actor and actresses actually sleep in the barracks while the movie was being filmed and wore the actual prison uniforms that had been sanitized but still were stained with blood, etc.

There is a book about the film by Marek Haltof, a professor at Northern Michigan University, who has published several books in English and Polish on the cultural histories of Central European and Australian film:  "Screening Auschwitz: Wanda Jakubowska's The Last Stage and the Politics of Commemoration (Cultural Expressions)"

Film hosts for the evening: Linda and Bruce. The film (1h 50 min) is in Polish, with English subtitles, at Polish Home upstairs, Friday, January 18, 7:30 pm.



Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday, November 16 at 7:30: MOVIES ABOUT SEATTLE POLISH COMMUNITY

ATTENTION, CHANGE OF PLANS:  Due to the November celebrations of 100th anniversary of the Polish Home in Seattle as well as the 100th anniversary of Polish independence, a film 'The Last Stage (Polish: Ostatni etap) is now rescheduled for January 2019.


Instead, we will re-screen shown at SPFF 2018 three recent documentaries about Polish Community in Seattle:

•  Passing the Torch: 100 Years of the Polish Home Association
This movie has been produced by the PHA historical video and oral history project in 2017 & 2018. Based on dozens of interviews and a wealth of historical materials it shows the rich history of the Polish community through different eras and the role PHA and the Polish Home played as the anchor of Polish life in Seattle and the Washington state. It shows achievements and initiatives that transformed the Polish Home from an ethnic fraternity into a vibrant cultural center presenting Polish culture and traditions.

Trailer of 'Passing the Torch':



•  Bronka, Lady of the Mountain / Kobieta Skała
This is the second documentary created by director Meleń during her visit in April 2018. The film shows a profile of Bronka Sundstrom, a 93 years old mountaineer guide who lives in a house near the Mt. Rainier National Park entrance.

•  A Piece of Poland in Seattle / Kawałek Polski w Seattle
This movie, commissioned by PHA, shows the Polish community through the eyes of the Polish director Monika Meleń, it was shot during her visit to Seattle in April 2018. Footage of different events happening at that time illustrate the current cultural life of the community while interviews with PHA members show different ways and reasons for Poles to immigrate to the Seattle area.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Friday, September 21th at 7:30: BYOF (maybe)

About next few OKO sessions:

• SEPTEMBER: I'm having trouble to secure a Polish full feature film with English subtitles, so we will screen two very interesting short films, but... You can bring your own film and if the audience decides to see it, we will do so.  You can also communicate ahead of time via comment section below or via blog's  email (mailaleksblog at gmail.com - change 'at' to '@' and make it one word) if you have questions or title of film you want to bring...  In case nobody brings an alternative film we will see:

1.)  Maestro: Andres Bukowinski, his life and films, 2001, directed by Andrzej Bart (the author of the script for the film Rewers /Reverse) -  27 minutes documetary.  Born in Poland in 1940, Andres Bukowinski began his advertising career in Argentina, won numerous international awards for his commercials,  later moved to Brazil, and began reacquainting himself with Poland in the 90s. He made about 3000 ads and is often called the King of Commercials.

From Culture.pl: [...] In 2003, at the XV Polish Film Festival in Chicago, Bukowiński received the Wings Award for ‘outstanding achievements in the art of film beyond Poland’.  The organizer of the festival, Christopher Kamyszew, said of the decision:  The advertising films directed by Andrzej Bukowiński are small masterpieces of cinematic art, cinematic metaphors of the highest level.  He has made so much of them; he must be admired for his creativity and consequential art.  Calling Andrzej’s films advertisements is in some ways arbitrary.  They are both advertisements and artistic expressions of the existential philosophy of their creator.  [...]

In anticipation of an after film discussion here is a link to Wendy Mellilo article, titled: Is Advertising Art? that was posted in adweek in 2011.  It begins with those words:  Inside America’s largest museum complex, the untutored eye might assume the image of a woman adorned in a bright yellow dress, one white-gloved hand gripping a parasol, is something by an Impressionist. And after a cursory glance, the poem of love and longing printed beneath her could be confused with a Robert Browning work.

Not until one notices the words “Ivory soap” at the end of the poem does the work reveal itself—as a Procter & Gamble print ad. [...]

Most of the materials about Bukowinski are in Spanish or Polish, but below his most famous work of art titled  'Hitler' - an ad for the newspaper Folha de São Paolo -  it has been listed as ‘One of 40 World’s Best Commercials of the Century’, and another ad, titled 'O Mundo',  for the same newspaper -  in their English renditions:




2.) The Cathedral (Polish: Katedra) -  7 minutes 2002 short animated movie by Tomasz Bagiński, based on a science fiction short story by Jacek Dukaj, winner of the Janusz A. Zajdel Award in 2000. The film was nominated in 2002 for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for the 75th Academy Awards. The film also won the title of Best Animated Short at Siggraph 2002 in San Antonio. About the plot, read here...

• OCTOBER is the month of Seattle Polish Film Festival (SPFF),  which hopefully will include 3 short films about local Polonia,  so no OKO screening unless we want to re-screen those 3 local films.

• NOVEMBER: a audience memebr Linda K. will present The Last Stage (Polish: Ostatni etap),  a 1947 Polish feature film directed and co-written by Wanda Jakubowska, depicting her experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.

• • • •

ATTENTION: Polish Film Club OKO is ready for adoption! Oko has existed in the current form since 2010, and was meant to promote Polish-themed film art in the Pacific Northwest through exposure, education and discussion - which is why all the films and dicussions took place in English.

OKO has its slot in Polish Home each 3rd Friday of the month from 7 pm, upstairs - ready for a new management and perhaps a new profile from December 2018.   If interested, please contact me - I'll be happy to continue this blog for the new OKO,  or make a link to your new blog. ola
(Update Feb'19: Thank you for all the years of running the club. The club has been "adopted" - Monika)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Friday, June 15th at 7:30: KORCZAK, a 1990 film by Andrzej Wajda

    Image result for korczak poster

  • Film host: Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady, PhD, 
    Adjunct Professor at the School of Education, Seattle Pacific University. Tatyana is a member of many international organizations including the Association for Moral Education; Comparative International Education Society; Janusz Korczak Association of the United States, and formerly, Korczak Association of Russia.  Thank you Tatyana! 

    KORCZAK   •   Unrated | 1h 58min | Biography, Drama | 6 May 1990 (Poland)

    Director: Andrzej Wajda, Writer: Agnieszka Holland.  Stars: Wojciech Pszoniak, Ewa Dalkowska, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska 
    In Polish with English subtitles, at Polish Home upstairs, Friday, June 15, 7:30 pm

    The film is an account of the last days of life of the legendary Polish pedagogue Janusz Korczak and his heroic dedication to protecting Jewish orphans during the war. Jewish doctor Henryk Goldszmit, known also as Janusz Korczak, is a man of high principles. He is unafraid of shouting at German officers and frequently has to be persuaded to save his own life. His orphanage, set up in a cramped school in the Warsaw ghetto, provides shelter to 200 homeless kids. Putting his experimental educational methods into practice, he installs a kind of children's self-government, whose justice is in a big contrast to what is happening in the outside world. Right in front of the school, dozens of kids are dying or being killed everyday and their naked bodies lie on the street unattended. Ghetto's mayor assures Korczak that the orphanages will be saved. Korczak raises food and money for the orphanage from the rich Jews. In the final roundup he refuses to accept a Swiss passport and boards the train to Treblinka with his orphans.
    New York Times article about the ending of the film that was seen as controversial by some viewers:  [...] Mr. Wajda argued that movie makers have a duty to leave their audience with something more. He said he never considered ending the film with its penultimate shot, which shows the train speeding away from Warsaw toward the concentration camp.
    "Such an ending would have said to me that all these endeavors of Dr. Korczak were sunk in a black hole; that pedagogy in the face of force has no sense; that no efforts of man can reverse the fact that he is dying so accidentally. This would be an awful, existentialist point of view.
    "There would have been nothing easier than showing the death of the children in the gas chamber," Mr. Wajda. "It would have been a very moving scene. Everyone would have been crying. But do we have the right, does art have the right to show this? Is art for this?
    "Isn't art for telling it in some different way? Art has to stop short of certain facts, has to look for other possibilities. It seems to me that it is beautiful that when we do not agree to the fact that the children were gassed, we create a legend that these children go somewhere, into some better world."[...]

    Official website of the director/film here...    Cannot find the trailer in English, or Polish, for that matter, but youtube has it in German:
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG0GFBjdeA0


    Image result for korczak film stills

    • • • • •

    Film club OKO will be on vacation all summer - no films till September. have a great summer!