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.
Please post a note or comment on this blog regarding the films shown at OKO, or the films you would like to see in the future. All the films shown have English subtitles (consider that while suggesting a movie) but comments in all languages are welcome! If you need on-line translation tool, click here (adjust for language needed).
Thank you. aleks in seattle. OKO logo by Iza Turski.
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 17, 2017 - Wajda's 'Man of Marble' (at Polish Home)

Film host: Ryszard Kott

Man of Marble (Polish: Człowiek z marmuru) is a 1976 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It chronicles the fall from grace of a fictional heroic Polish bricklayer, Mateusz Birkut (played by Jerzy Radziwiłowicz), who became the symbol of an over-achieving worker, in Nowa Huta, a new socialist city near Kraków. Agnieszka, played by Krystyna Janda in her first role, is a young filmmaker who is making her diploma film (a student graduation requirement) on Birkut, whose whereabouts seems to have been lost two decades later. The title refers to the propagandist marble statues made in Birkut's image.


From the 2014 review by Philip French in The Guardian: [...] A major milestone in Polish cinema, Man of Marble comes from a period of political thaw, moderate affluence and agonised self-questioning between the end of hardline postwar Stalinism in the 1950s and the return of authoritarianism, which culminated in the imposition of martial law in 1981.

Contemplated by Andrzej Wajda ever since he completed his war trilogy in 1959, and much influenced by Citizen Kane, it features the movie debut of the charismatic 25-year Krystyna Janda as tough, chain-smoking film-school student Agnieszka, dressed in flared jeans and denim jacket. She's working on her graduation project, a controversial documentary in the then fashionable American cinéma vérité style. ("No tripods, just hand-held cameras and wide-angle lens," she tells her middle-aged cameraman.) Its subject is Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwiłowicz), a long-forgotten Stakhanovite bricklayer who became a Stalinist hero, the focus of propagandist documentaries, and then disappeared into obscurity, a victim of the system.[...]


From 1979 review from New York Times: [...] Andrzej Wajda, Poland's greatest film maker, is quoted as having said that one cannot commit heroic acts if they are useless. Such an act is a tree falling in the middle of the forest where there is no one to hear. A heroic act that accomplishes nothing is as abstract as the gesture of a gymnast. This is something to keep in mind if you can possibly get to see Mr. Wajda's extraordinary 1977 film "Man of Marble," which is being shown today at 3:15 P.M. and 9 P.M. at the Hunter College Assembly Hall. "Man of Marble" is one of nine films being screened in the eight-day Wajda retrospective that will end tomorrow. [...]

Trailer here:


See you at the third Friday of the month - February 17th at the OKO film!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January 20, 2017: Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi (at Polish Home)

Film Aperitif:  'Tango' by Polish animator Zbigniew Rybczynski won the Academy Award for Best Short Animation in 1983. It is a mesmerizing 8 minutes animation set entirely in one room in which a series of events take place, repeat and overlap each other in time to a tango soundtrack. 


After being rescheduled and cancelled THREE times Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi (2013,  by Slawomir Grunberg) will finally make it to OKO on January 20, 2017, 7:30 pm - see you there! Below a copy of the original post and a trailer.

Documentary film about over 1400 Polish refugees from the Soviet camps in Siberia who in 1943 arrived in a Mexican ranch of Santa Rosa at the invitation of President Manuel Ávila Camacho.

Santa Rosa became their home for a number of years to come. Mexico was the only country outside the British Commonwealth that offered assistance in solving the humanitarian crisis of thousands of Polish WW2 refugees displaced in temporary camps in Iran.

After the end of the war and the closing of Santa Rosa colony, only 87 refugees returned to Poland. Most of them immigrated to the United States. Those who settled in Chicago set up the Santa Rosa Club and once a year they gather to reminisce the good old days to the sounds of music remembered from childhood.



Thursday, November 3, 2016

'Spitfire Liberator: The Alex Herbst Story' - 11/25 • 7:30 pm at Polish Home

Well, another change: the film originally scheduled for November is sitting at Scarecrow awesome collection and could be brought in anytime so it can wait, while  OKO member and the film co-producer, Krzysztof Poraj-Kuczewski offered to present on our November session his documentary film about Alex Herbst and invited Alex to our screening!

Attention: 11/25 is FOURTH Friday of the month (the day after Thanksgiving) - change from 3rd Friday due to scheduling problems.

Spitfire Liberator: The Alex Herbst Story, directed by Sławomir Ciok. Captain Witold "Alex" Herbst is a WWII fighter pilot who was flying Spitfires with the famous Polish RAF squadrons 303 & 308 in missions over Great Britain and Europe.

"[...] Alex Herbst tells his story for a documentary which is about the will of flying that never dies. This is also a sentimental and partly virtual trip to the most important places of Alex Herbst’s life in Poland, Romania, Turkey, and France, UK and the USA including his visit to the present aviation industry.[...]  More on  Blue Horizon site..


Trailer here:

Here is a British TV production showing 303 squadron - 50 minutes documentary 'Bloody foreigners. Untold Battle of Britain' (in English, with Polish subtitles), or you could watch it bigger screen on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptijNcDanVw



Here is link to photos from the 'Spitfire Liberator' premiere event.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

SPFF opening night: Sugihara Chiune, "Persona Non Grata" 10/14 at Uptown

Kino OKO will be back in November (see listing at the bottom of this post), as October is Seattle Polish Film Festival (SPFF) time!!!!

After its world premiere in Lithuania in October 2015, a new film about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, "Persona Non Grata," opens SPFF (Seattle Polish Film Festival) next Friday, October 14 at SIFF Cinema Uptown at 6:30 pm. Director Cellin Gluck will be present for the film screening, followed by Q &A.

The film tells the story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara who was posted in Lithuania during World War II, and who defied orders and issued over 2,000 transit visas to Jewish refugees, famously continuing to sign visas even as his train pulled away from the station. He is estimated to have saved over 6,000 lives from the Nazis, who invaded Lithuania a year later in 1941.

Directed by Japanese American Cellin Gluck, "Persona Non Grata" was filmed in Poland and stars Japanese actors Toshiaki Karasawa and Koyuki, and Polish actors Borys Szyc and Agnieszka Grochowska.

WHEN:  Friday, October 14th, 6;30 pm
WHERE: SIFF Cinema Uptown on 511 Queen Anne Ave N. Seattle 98109
You can buy tickets right before the film or on-line via SIIF; tickets and FB page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1074238026023900/

Here is an informative article about the film from nippon.com...

And a January 2016 interview with Cellin Gluck, Director Of “Persona Non Grata,” from forward.com.

Trailer here:



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Remaining 2016 OKO screenings:

• November 18, Friday 7:30 pm
‘The mill and the cross’, Lech Majewski, 2010, the world of a painting, and the man who painted it (Pieter Bruegel).  Roger Ebert's  review here (4 stars)

• December 16, Friday 7:30 pm:
‘Moonlighting’, Jerzy Skolimowski, 1982 (w/Jeremy Iron), film response to the crushing of Solidarity. Roger Ebert's  review here (4 stars)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday, September 16th - Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi (at Polish Home)

OKO is going on summer vacation (Polish Home closed July and August) - the next film will be a repeat screening of the Slawomir Grunberg's 2013 documentary 'Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi' (originally screened May 6 at UW campus). For info and trailer see the previous post below (under info about 'Karski' film. )



See you all  Friday, September 16 at 7:30 pm for the tale of Polish refugees from  Siberia who ended up in Santa Rosa, Mexico during WW2.   Safe summer travels!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Double Grunberg: 'Karski and the Lords of Humanity' 5/5 & 'Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi' 5/6

May 5 & 6 – two documentary films by Sławomir Grünberg, who will be in Seattle for the premiere of his latest filmKarski and the Lords of Humanity.

1.) Thursday, May 5th, 2016, 7:45 pm - Karski and the Lords of Humanity, 2015 (at Ezra Bessaroth)

Jan Karski was a WWII Polish underground envoy who in 1942 brought from occupied Poland eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the attention of to the personal attention of President Roosevelt and other powerful world's leaders.  It is a feature-length documentary that combines animation with actual footage and narration from interviews with Jan Karski. Watch a trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/jankarski

The film will be presented by Congregation Ezra Bessaroth and supported by the Polish Honorary Consul in Seattle, Seattle Polish Foundation , the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee, and Seattle Polish Film Festival

Where: at the Congregation Ezra Bessaroth in Seattle, parking entry from Wilson Ave; ticket $10  or $50 (individual sponsorship) at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/karski-and-the-lords-of-humanity-tickets-22188197496
At the door tickets $15.

KARSKI film trailer here:



2.) Friday, May 6th, 2016 - Santa Rosa: Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi, 2013 (at UW campus)

Documentary film about over 1400 Polish refugees from the Soviet camps in Siberia who in 1943 arrived in a Mexican ranch of Santa Rosa at the invitation of President Manuel Ávila Camacho.

Santa Rosa became their home for a number of years to come. Mexico was the only country outside the British Commonwealth that offered assistance in solving the humanitarian crisis of thousands of Polish WW2 refugees displaced in temporary camps in Iran.

After the end of the war and the closing of Santa Rosa colony, only 87 refugees returned to Poland. Most of them immigrated to the United States. Those who settled in Chicago set up the Santa Rosa Club and once a year they gather to reminisce the good old days to the sounds of music remembered from childhood.

The film will be presented at UW, supported by the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee, the Polish Honorary Consul in Seattle,  Consulate of Mexico in Seattle and kino OKO.

Where: Thompson Hall 101 at the University of Washington campus in Seattle (King Ln, Seattle, WA 98105); admission free

SANTA ROSA trailer here:




Sławomir Grünberg is an Emmy Award winning documentary producer, director and cameraman. He is a graduate of the Polish Film School in Lodz. He immigrated to the US in 1981 and has since directed and produced over 45 documentary films.
His works, which focus on critical social, political, environmental issues with a special interest in Polish-Jewish theme, have won him international recognition. Grünberg is a recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts and Soros Justice Media Fellowships. His credits as director of photography include two films, which received Academy Award nominations

Friday, February 26, 2016

'Papusza' screening moved to April 22!

May harbinger: Double with Slawomir Grunberg (dir. will be present at both screenings): 5/5, Thu, 7:30 pm: 'Karski' at Ezra Bessaroth,  for tickets/directions click here
& 5/6,  'Fri, 7 pm 'Santa Rosa' at UW Thomson Hall 101, Free.  More details later.

Spring Bazaar in Polish Home is on Saturday, March 19th - the room needs to be prepared a day in advance and cannot accommodate the Kino OKO goers on usual 3rd Friday of the month.  Therefore the screening of the film 'Papusza' is moved to Friday, April 15th 22nd (sorry, another event collision caused another date change).

Friday, 4/22: 'Papusza', directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze, music by Jan Kanty Pawluskiewicz, 2013. In Roma/Polish with English subtitles.

True story of Papusza - the first Roma woman who put her poems into writing and published them, and therefore confronted the traditional female image in the gypsy community.

The film follows Papusza’s life from birth to old age: arranged marriage as a small girl, her life in a gypsy tabor before, during and after second world war, then forced settlement in communist Poland and urban life in poverty. Her meeting with the Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski, who discovered her great talent for poetry and published her works led to a tragic paradox: a famous poet was living in poverty, rejected by the Roma community, for betraying their secrets.

Cast: Jowita Budnik (Bronisława Wajs - Papusza), Zbigniew Waleryś (Dionizy Wajs, Papusza's husband), Antoni Pawlicki (Jerzy Ficowski), Artur Steranko (Czarnecki), Maja Maissner, Andrzej Walden (Julian Tuwim), Marcin Bartnikowski (announcer), Ryszard Mróz (warden), Krzysztof Bochenek (caretaker), Jerzy Gudejko (minister)

Trailer here:


"Jan Kanty Pawluśliewicz's score matches the image perfectly, often resembling the sounds of nature," writes Michał Hernes in his website for Stopklatka.pl.

"From Papusza's first breathtaking image, a wide shot of a gipsy camp in 1910, the black and white photography of Krzysztof Ptak and Wojciech Staroń raises the aesthetic bar of the film to a level rarely achieved by black-and-white cinema," writes Domenico La Porta in a review published on the Cineuropa website.

More links to reviews on "Papusza" page of the Polish Film Institute (go to "Papusza" reviews in the tab on the right side).
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If you have a favorite film you'd like to see in Kino OKO in the future, please leave a comment about it (title and director/year, if known) below this post.