NEXT FILM: Marcel Lozinski's documentaries • March 16th, Wednesday

7:30 PM - Marcel Lozinski documentaries (2006 z Polskiej Szkoly Dokumentu). 

The set of 2 CDs contains 14 documentaries from the recipient of many international awards, all looking interesting and covering years 1972-1998, so it was rather a hard choice, and this is what I decided to fill 70 minutes of next OKO meeting with:

1. Wizyta/The visit. 1974. 16' 
Analyzing the role of media in lives of people under the lenses: Urszula Flis is an attractive media object - she is running a country farm and is also a connoisseur of literature, an intellectual exchanging correspondence with writers. Filmmaker arranges a meeting with a journalist who visits the heroine with preconceived thesis that her country life makes no sense, but Urszula upsets the cart not fitting into this scenario.

2.)  Krol/The King. 1974.  7'
Film made by accident on the way back from filming 'The visit'.  With 5 minutes of the tape left, the film tells the story of the bartender, self-described perfect and proud conformist, who all his life served whoever was in power and now is the king of life in his own bar...  The film was banned for 'the king's' anti-Semitic comment, which Lozinski later removed, but since it not helped with censors, director resolved from that time on not to remove anything on censor's request.

3.)  Zeby nie bolalo/So it doesn't hurt.  1998. 47'
After 23 years Marcel Lozinski re-visits the heroine of 'The visit', Urszula Flis, who still lives in the country on her own.  In this version the filmmaker tries to touch another person's life so it doesn't hurt the subject of his camera. 

About Marcel Lozinski: Director of many awarded documentaries, born 1940 in Paris.
Prior to enrolling at the Łódź Film School in 1967, Łoziński graduated from Warsaw Polytechnic, Department of Communication, and worked for a few years as a sound engineer at the Warsaw Documentary Studio (WFD). He completed his direction studies in 1971, but it was not until 1976 that he obtained his degree, by which time he could boast some serious documentary filmmaking achievement. His pre-graduation project was "Zmiana [A Change]"and "Widziane z dołu [Seen from Underneath]", two parts of a TV film made together withPawel Kedzierski, and "Zderzenie czołowe [A Head-On Collision]" [aka "Front Collision"] was his graduation work. 
More here...

***EXTRA! EXTRA!   Bonus Lozinski film for Polish speaking readers - apology for it not being bilingual, but that's the only version I found on YouTube: 'How is it done' / 'Jak to sie robi - Jak stworzyc polityka' (2006) - Piotr Tymochowicz Public Relations advisor has decided to prove that anybody can be molded into a politician.  

The movie has 6 parts and if the consecutive parts don't show automatically here go to YouTube to watch the rest:

And here is a fragment of an interview with the director  (in Polish)) regarding the film, tiled ‘Let the politicians stew’:

Artur Cichmiński: Kto do kogo przyszedł z pomysłem zrobienia tego filmu? Piotr Tymochowicz do Pana, czy to Pan do niego?
Marcel Łoziński: Odbyło się to jeszcze inaczej. Przeczytałem reportaż pt. "Zakręcę was, jak słoiki na zimę" autorstwa Jacka Hugo-Badera, który sam poddał się takiemu szkoleniu. W tym właśnie reportażu Tymochowicz powiedział, że polityk to taki sam produkt, jak płyn do płukania. Z każdego można zrobić polityka i wręcz zaproponował Jackowi, że nawet z niego może zrobić prezydenta. Jacek powiedział mu wtedy: Nie, ja chwilowo dziękuję.
Jak to przeczytałem pomyślałem, że jest to fantastyczna rzecz. Już w 1991 roku, kiedy wziąłem udział w kampanii wyborczej Tadeusza Mazowieckiego, uważałem że byłoby fantastycznie gdyby udało się mi złapać początek kariery takiego człowieka jak Stan Tyminski, który potwornie narozrabiał na naszej scenie politycznej. Zobaczyć, jak coś takiego się robi? Skąd się to bierze i jak coś takiego może potem mieć ten szarlatański wpływ na ludzi? Kiedy więc przeczytałem Jacka reportaż, wiedziałem że to jest właśnie to. Tymochowicz będzie kreował kogoś takiego i może mu się to uda, a może nie, ale ja przynajmniej przyjrzę się temu procesowi. Poszedłem do niego, zapytałem czy naprawdę uważa, że jest to możliwe? Odpowiedział, że tak i że może mi to udowodnić. Jak? Zrobi casting, a potem wykreuje jednego, dwóch, trzech. Na pytanie czy można przyjść z kamerą i to zarejestrować usłyszałem, że oczywiście. I tak to poszło. Jemu było to bardzo na rękę, gdyż był to dla niego też jakiś rodzaj reklamy. Sam przecież podkreśla, że nie ważne czy się mówi o kimś dobrze, czy źle, ważne żeby się po prostu mówiło i nie przekręcało nazwiska. I dziś niewątpliwie ubocznym produktem tego filmu jest to, że jest to dla niego niewątpliwie reklama.
More here...

Posted 3/17, after OKO meeting:

• I was truly moved by 'Visit/So it doesn't hurt' combo  ('Wizyta/Zeby nie bolalo'), and so was everybody else at OKO, it seems  - Urszula Flis came through both of the documentaries, spanned by 23 years of filming, as really true no-nonsense real person we all could connect with, while the same could not be said about the film/journalist team that descended on her private life in the village where she farms.  We felt the urge to let Urszula know that we feel close to her and her values, while wanting to throw our shoes at TV screen every time the city folks were pontificating, telling her to strike a pose or answer their ever idiotic questions.  We plan to take a group pic of us next time we meet and mail it to Urszula, so she knows there are people out there who relate to her and who she is.

• 'The King' ('Krol') film was rather odd - watching 7 minutes of self-described life-long opportunist preening for the camera made me wonder if Lozinski liked his subject.  The fellow must be dead by now (film made in 1974) and all that is left of him is this documentary, as if he had no redeeming qualities to tell about.  Did he not?

• 'My place' ('Moje miejsce') - 1985 bonus film we watched had some great comic value and caused many laughs: Sopot's Grand Hotel employees telling how they see their world and work - self-aggrandizing statements from lavatory cleaners, cooks, maids and cloakroom attendants suddenly put in front of camera as 'stars'...  The clip was surely funny in a stupid way, but was it sympathetic to the working class people struggles of getting through life's slings and arrows? I thought not,  and wondered if Lozinski would sign under Somerset Maugham line: 'I''ve always been interested in people, but I've never liked them'...

One way or the other, we are not Lozinki-outed yet; so round 2 of his documentaries was agreed upon for April OKO meeting (4/20).  

Surprising and democratizing development also occurred at the last OKO's meeting: just as I was getting tired of my almost 1 year-long OKO dictatorship (with Rysiu K. as a shy shadow co-dictator )  and was pondering a way out (even if this means the end of OKO film club) the idea of sharing the fun of watching films together had its springtime: Krzysiu PK decided to run May meeting and Leszek Ch. signed up for June.  Hallelujah - OKO will go on for a while:)

Other Lozinski links:
- blog  Graciarnia (in Polish)
- Kultura Polska (in Polish)
- Amazon review (in English)
- Nisimazine. eu (in English)


Polish Movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Since OKO meets only once a month, here is a list of movies in Polish, with English subtitles, available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Documentaries are not included. If you are into that genre, there is a ton available! Enjoy!