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.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NEXT FILMS: FEBRUARY & MARCH; unless you tell me otherwise

• February 16, Wednesday, 2011 at 7:30 PM -  Zanussi's 'The Silent Touch' (1992)
• March 16, Wednesday, 2011 at 7:30 PM - Marcel Lozinski documentaries (2006 z Polskiej Szkoly Dokumentu). 

February 16: 'Zanussi's The Silent Touch' (1992), trailer here:

From NYT review:  Since his vintage years with Ingmar Bergman, Max Von Sydow has seemingly worked without stop around the world playing roles that don't come up to his instep, wrestling with Satan in "The Exorcist" and suffering serenely as God's son in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." With the exception of "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Pelle the Conqueror," he hasn't had much to do recently except collect his paychecks. He's one of the cinema's great underused resources.

This is the principal reason to see "The Silent Touch," the new British-Polish-Danish co-production starring Mr. Von Sydow, who is Swedish; Sarah Miles, who is English, and Lothaire Bluteau, who is French Canadian. The film, which was directed by Krzysztof Zanussi, who is Polish, is set mostly in Denmark, though everyone speaks English, maybe because it's the lingua franca of the people who put the movie deal together. More here

Silent Touch is an English language film made by celebrated Polish director Krzystof Zanussi. It was co-written by Peter Morgan who over ten years later was to write such celebrated screenplays as The Deal, The Queen, Longford, The Other Boleyn Girl.

Zanussi was one of the strengths of the Polish film industry, despite his overt Catholicism. During the 1970s he won a number of awards all over the world. After the fall of communism, he became the head of the Polish studios in Warsaw, producing a number of films including those of Krzystof Kieslowski. Zanussi’s best-known film is Year of the Sun, 1984, which was a world prize-winner.

This film focuses on Max von Sydow as an ageing musical composer, in the classical vein. He is also a survivor of the Holocaust. When a young musicologist comes to visit him, he is inspired to do one more final work. However, there is an emotional cost, especially for the musicologist whose girlfriend becomes the composer’s mistress. This also has its repercussions for his wife.

Lothaire Bluteau (Jesus of Montreal, Black Robe) is the musicologist. Sarah Miles came out of semi-retirement to play the wife.

The film is highly melodramatic - but explores themes of art, genius, obnoxious personalities, fidelity and infidelity, creativity.

• March 16, Marcel Lozinski documentaries (2006 z Polskiej Szkoly Dokumentu). 
Trailer of his other work here:

Marcel Łoziński o swojej pracy:
Dlaczego robię dokumenty?
Bo coś się wokół dzieje, we mnie też i próbuję to połączyć.
Bo lubię zadawać pytania o radość, strach, ból, nadzieję.
Bo chcę zrozumieć jak to jest..
Bo nie wierzę w obiektywny zapis.
Bo kaprys Pana Boga cenię ponad moją wyobraźnię.
Bo ciekaw jestem, czy inni czują podobnie do mnie.
Bo to mój wybrany zawód, nie chciałem pracować jako inżynier
. Bo lubię zagęszczać rzeczywistość, ale tak, żeby jej nie zniekształcić.
Bo musze zarabiać.*

I will develop this post into more informative piece very soon.  So stay tuned:)

2/14 - Well, nothing happened of my good intentions of developing this post into something more informative - but check Ewa Bienczycka's contribution in the comments section below - it's pretty informative while also hilarious.  If you don't speak Polish let google- translator be your friend - link to translator here; just copy the polish text into it, it's pretty good nowadays.  There is also Iphone app for google-translation now, perhaps you have it.

I did order Lozinki's documentaries from Merlin (on-line bookshop) in Poland - hopefully when it gets here, I'll write separate post for him...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NEXT FILM: 'THE HOUR GLASS SANATORIUM' • January 19th, Wednesday

Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is beset by soldiers from the past, colonial black mercenaries, girls from his early life, and his parents. It is an interior adventure, with unusual atmospheric flair and extraordinary sets. Written by Polish Cinema Database

ATTENTION:  something is not working:  despite of a half a year presence in the Polish Home, Film Club OKO has not worked out its core audience.  We have somewhere between 8-15 people coming for each screening, but with the exception of 2-3 super-loyal fans the audience is changing constantly and I never know  if anybody will come at all (we have no membership).  I do not mind running the club for 3 people, but wondering if I should change the formula to better answer those 3 people wishes, or should I aim at the wider audience.  

Not sure if the problem is the day chosen (evening commute can be challenging in the middle of the work-week) or the films shown (completely understand that my own choices are not universal).  So, please comment below or come prepared to discuss what should be done with the OKO club:  change the day (Friday is often quoted as the 'best' day, problem how to compete with other activities that day in Polish Home), change the films (please, share your ideas) or close it.  Another thing which crossed my mind is to list films people could view in the comfort of their own homes, and discuss them HERE;  but it's truly not the same as real discussion club.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Posted 1/24/11:
The 16 of us who came to see the film last Wednesday had a great time and a delightful discussion:  how ahead of the time the movie was, its beautifully dazzling photography, the unforgettable themes of dreams conflated with wishes of preserving the passing life and passing memories, and reconstructing one's childhood through them.  

Several of us saw the movie for the second time, with more, ahem, mature outlook on life than the first time around, so we talked about that, too. Several people were there intrigued more by the persona of Bruno Schulz- the artist (the film was based on his stories) than the film itself, so we talked about his life and death, about his writing and art, as well as the times he lived and created (1930s and 40s).  

Teresa brought a wonderful complimentary written material from her past research on Bruno Schultz, which people appreciated to take home and read, and Wanda brought along two young Americans who seemed quite interested in the film and the discussion about it and said that it was one of the weirdest films they saw (probably ever), but also one which is likely not leave their imagination soon.  Thanks Rysiu, for choosing the film and making sure it plays! (it was PAL version, even though Rysiu bought it here, through Amazon.com...  )

The movie was 2 hours long + discussion, so we had not much of a chance to talk about the future of OKO.  So, my dictatorial rule marches on from lack of alternatives - see the next post (above)...