From a Whisper to a Scream: Discovering Andrzej Zulawski
May 3–13 • Screening Room
Admission per film: $8 Regular/ $6 YBCA member
Long overdue, this unique program features five films by the acclaimed European auteur Andrzej Zulawski. Zulawski's cinema is like an expressive dance with non-linear storytelling, elements of surrealism, and obsession with bodily functions and sexuality to the point of obscenity and brutality. The extravagance of form serves as a metaphor for the conflicting forces within the human soul and a desperate search for truth, beauty, the absolute and salvation. Loved by many, hated by some, this non-conformist visionary remains one of Poland's — and Europe's — most radical filmmakers.
Presented in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York. Additional support from the Polish Film Institute and the Polish Film Archive in Warsaw.
Szamanka (The Shaman)May 3, 2012 7:30pm
Possibly Zulawski’s most deranged effort, which is saying a lot. An anthropology professor meets a nameless student, ostensibly a pizza maker extraordinaire referred to simply as “the Italian.” His escalating obsession with the feral young woman is matched only by his fascination with the body of a perfectly preserved 3,000-year-old shaman. Audacious, mystical, transgressive and explicit enough to rival Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses, Szamanka culminates in a disturbingly apocalyptic finale. (1996, 100 min, 35mm)
PossessionMay 6, 2012 2:00pm
New 35mm print!
In this thriller about a marital breakup set in an anxious Berlin divided by the Wall, Anna (Isabelle Adjani) and Mark (Sam Neill) veer from public screaming matches to sudden acts of violence and horror. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Featuring what is arguably the bravest female performance ever put on film–namely, Isabelle Adjani's Cannes-winning turn of shamanistic intensity — the film dares its viewer to enter a trance-like state, in which genres blur and mate to yield a new level of cinematic expression… There's no mistaking the fact that deep inside, Zulawski's cinema is all about searching for grace.” (1981, 127 min, 35mm)
The Third Part of the NightMay 10, 2012 7:30pm
New 35mm print!
Inspired by his father’s experience during WWII — volunteering to feed lice with his own blood so the Nazis could develop the typhus vaccine — The Third Part of the Night depicts a godless world in which a young man experiences fevered hallucinations after his wife and son have been killed. Time Out London calls it, “A haunting first feature.” (1971, 105 min, 35mm)
The DevilMay 12, 2012 7:30pm
One of Zulawski's most hypnotic works, The Devil is a political allegory wrapped in the guise of a horror film, and was promptly banned in Poland upon its completion. It’s the tale of nobleman Jakub, who descends into madness when possessed by the Devil (a Prussian spy/agitator) in 18th-century Poland. A devastating portrait of the insanity caused by war. (1972, 119 min, 35mm)
On the Silver GlobeMay 13, 2012 2:00pm
Based on the first installment in The Lunar Trilogy, his great-uncle Jerzy Zulawski's science fiction epic, On the Silver Globe began in the mid-1970s and was nearly completed when the Polish government suddenly shut down production. A decade later the director was able to piece together the surviving footage with narration to complete this wild, unhinged tale about a group of astronauts who set up a colony on the moon. Mystical rituals, orgies, violence, and the arrival of the Messiah ensue. (1976/1988, 166 min, 35mm)
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National Endowment for the Arts