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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Comedy LADIES on Friday, Feb.19, 7:30 pm

Friday, February 19th at Polish Home, upper room - start at 7:30 (room set up and short intro about the film and its director);  actual screening at 8 pm sharp: Tomasz Konecki's  Ladies / Lejdis,  comedy, 2008. Polish with English subtitles.

Plot: Four childhood girlfriends, now adult women,  gather each New Year's Eve (which they celebrate in summer) to track the progress of their lives, make resolutions, and discuss their relationships with men.

The film was a huge hit in its homeland when released - we might discuss the issue of the use of humor in the film form and what happens when translated, since the cognitive process of amusement is very much dependent on the social and cultural context.  It was was shown at SPFF several years ago and met a very good reception.

There is not much about the director, Tomasz Konecki in English on the internet;  this is from wikipedia: Tomasz Konecki (born 22 April 1962 in Warsaw) is Polish film director.  A graduate of Warsaw University, he worked with TVP1. He has directed six films such as Testosteron and Lejdis. Movies that he creates are ones of the best hits in comedy category. [...] Not much more at the link above...

From Polish sources I gathered that Konecki  is a Warsaw University physics department graduate, one time philosophy student who got his PhD diploma from Polish Academy of Sciences; he also played sax in a student band Deformacja.  He had his own TV program from 1994-1997 where he created several dozen documentaries, until his film director's debut in 2000 with a full feature film titled 'Half-Serious', followed by the black comedy 'Body' (2003) for which he was given a  'Golden Duck' award by the Film magazine for The Best Polish Film of that year.  From then on he became a very commercially successful, many times nominated and awarded comedy director: 'Tango z aniołem' , 2005-2006, 'Testosteron', 2007, 'Lejdis' 2008, 'The Perfect Guy for My Girl' - Polish: 'Idealny facet dla mojej dziewczyny', 2009.

For your perusal: found this quite academic dissertation from Marta Dynel, titled: Women who swear and men who fret: The subversive construction of genders in films: A case study of 'Lejdis' and 'Testosteron',  here:

See you at Kino OKO!  ola
Thank you SPFF for sharing this film with OKO!

March OKO harbinger: Friday, 3/18: 'Papusza', directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze, music by Jan Kanty Pawluskiewicz, 2013. A story of Bronislawa Wajs, Roma poetess, and her  life, and how her life converged with that of two poets - Jerzy Ficowski and Julian Tuwim...

Monday, January 11, 2016

'The double life of Veronique' this Friday, Jan. 15, 7:30 pm

This friday, 1/15 at Polish Home, upper room - start at 7:30 (room set up and short intro about the director);  actual screening at 8 pm sharp:

Kieslowski’s  'The Double Life of Veronique' (1991). Polish/French with English subtitles.

[...] (French: La double vie de Véronique, Polish: Podwójne życie Weroniki) is a 1991 French- and Polish-language drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Irène Jacob.

Written by Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the film explores the themes of identity, love, and human intuition through the characters of Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher. The two women do not know each other, and yet they share a mysterious and emotional bond that transcends language and geography.

The film is notable for Sławomir Idziak's innovative cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner's haunting operatic score. The film was Kieślowski's first to be produced partly outside his native Poland. The Double Life of Véronique won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival for Krzysztof Kieslowski, and the Best Actress Award for Irène Jacob. [...] More at wikipedia...

Roger Eber (4 stars) full review here:  "[...] This is one of the most beautiful films I've seen. The cinematographer, Slawomir Idziak, finds a glow in Irene Jacob's pre-Raphaelite beauty. He uses a rich palette, including insistent reds and greens that don't "stand" for anything but have the effect of underlining the other colors [...]

The director will NOT be present at the screening - you can read about his life here: [...] Kieślowski's last four films, his most commercially successful, were foreign co-productions, made mainly with money from France and in particular from Romanian-born producer Marin Karmitz. These focused on moral and metaphysical issues along lines similar to The Decalogue and Blind Chance but on a more abstract level, with smaller casts, more internal stories, and less interest in communities. Poland appeared in these films mostly through the eyes of European outsiders. [...]

And here info about Zbigniew Preisner, Kieslowski's trusted  film score composer, whose memorable music  lingers with you long after you finished watching the films: [...]Zbigniew Preisner was born in Bielsko-Biała, and studied history and philosophy in Kraków. Never having received formal music lessons, he taught himself music by listening and transcribing parts from records. His compositional style represents a distinctively spare form of tonal neo-Romanticism. Paganini and Jean Sibelius are acknowledged influences. [...] 

I couldn't find  a trailer with English subtitles - here is one in Polish:

And here one from Zahranicni Trailery in French, but it needs no words, Dvojí život Veroniky:

See you in KINO OKO!  ola

P.S. Just noticed there is serious, phd-level (or reading-the-tea-leaves-level) Kieslowski's discussion going on on the net; I particularly like this dissertation by Tasha Robinson on the film forum 'Dissolve':

'[...] The first shot of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s 1991 film The Double Life Of Veronique is a pan across a nighttime cityscape, seen through a murky haze of smog… and seen upside down, from the point of view of a little girl being dangled head-downward, as her mother tells her to look for a particular star. Then Kieslowski cuts to a fuzzy blur with a gigantic magnified eye in the middle of it—the eye of another little girl in a different country (but played by the same child), looking at a leaf through a magnifying glass, as her mother tells her to examine it closely and appreciate the fine veins. The next shot, as the credits roll, is a woman walking in a public place, flattened and stretched through a lens, with washes of color and darkness passing over her; it’s hard to guess at her age, or the setting, or the era. In less than three minutes, Kieslowski distorts reality three times, giving viewers no hint how the three strange images are connected. [...]

 [...] Even in projects like the Decalogue series, based on the Biblical 10 Commandments, and the Three Colors trilogy, based on the colors and concepts of the French flag, Kieslowski doesn’t tend to underline his themes; he leaves them to the audience to interpret. But here, he tells them exactly what they need to do to make sense of the film: Watch for the details. Accept, even if things seem unfamiliar, or altered from the usual way of seeing them. [...]'

[...]Again, Kieslowski warns viewers that the world isn’t entirely what it looks like. [...]
The rest of the article here: