Zanussi in Bangalore

Director Krzysztof Zanussi

will be present at the screening of his film

for a discussion with the audience. 

Venue: Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore – 52. 

Monday, 2nd March, 2009                      Time: 6.00pm 

krzysztof-zanussi

 

Krzysztof Zanussi is a true man of cinema. A longtime studio head and producer as well as a writer and director, Zanussi has made both films and filmmakers in a life spanning more than sixty cataclysmic years in Polish history.

Born in Warsaw in 1939, the year the Nazis invaded Poland, Zanussi studied physics, philosophy, and filmmaking during the high Stalinist 50s and the slightly thawed 60s, then participated in the vital “Cinema of Moral Concern” movement during the 1970s by writing and directing such films as Illumination (1973) and Camouflage (1977). A brilliant diplomat and statesman, in 1979 Zanussi was appointed head of TOR Films, a government-funded studio that went on to make films critical of the very regime that funded it. Many of the directors whose works Zanussi produced went on to eclipse Zanussi himself in international prestige, including Agnieszka Holland and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

But Zanussi himself never stopped directing films, even through the early ’80s, when martial law reigned in Poland, and the early 90s, when the loss of state subsidies threatened the very existence of Polish cinema. Through these times and into today, he has also endured as the head of TOR Films (now a privately held company), and lectured and written prolifically as a public intellectual.

Among Zanussi’s most recent projects is Weekend Stories, a series of eight piercing short films. As in The Decalogue, which Zanussi co-produced through TOR Films, some sets overlap between different hour-long episodes, and moral issues are frequently fundamental to the individual stories. However, here, each story takes place over the span of a weekend, begins on a shot through a window, uses a few of the same pieces of music, and explores relations between the country and the city. Moreover, there is the consistent attention to science, method, and morals that has been a signature of the highly-educated Zanussi from the earliest films he directed in the 1950s through today. In Weekend Stories, that attention to method often focuses in on how precisely Poles can and do go about surviving the post-Communist transition, and, more generally, as in The Decalogue, how the beliefs each of us holds affect how we go about living in the modern world.

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