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September 2014
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Stairs (1968), dir. Stefan Schabenbeck, courtesy Polish Film Archive
ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS... / Byl sobie raz...
dir. Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica, 1957, 9'

Once Upon a Time... was one of the first films initiating the Polish School of Animation - one of the most refreshing and interesting phenomena of Polish postwar culture. The artists playfully use simple geometrical shapes, collages and paper cutouts to freely associate abstract meanings.

THE BANNER OF YOUTH
/ Sztandar mlodych
dir. Walerian Borowczyk, 1958, 2'11"

Deeply rooted in the tradition of Polish surrealism, Borowczyk - known mostly for his arthouse erotic features filmed later in France - creates a fiddly, whimsical ad for a popular Polish magazine.

NEW BOOK / Nowa ksiazka
dir. Zbigniew Rybczynski, 1975, 10'

Always innovative, Oscar winner Rybczynski (Tango, 1983), uses the progressive split screen technique and sophisticated narration to depict time and space in a simple, everyday occurrence.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD / Zmiana warty
dir. Wlodzimierz Haupe, Halina Bielinska, 1958, 8'

This Cannes 1959 short film award winner (for the best concept), is a love story told entirely with matches and matchboxes, the shadows they cast, and the sound effects they produce. 

STAIRS / Schody
dir. Stefan Schabenbeck, 1968, 7'13"

This award-winning metaphorical, doll animation depicts a character climbing up almost infinite flights of steps, only to become one of them at the (sad) end.

CAGES / Klatki
dir. Miroslaw Kijowicz, 1966, 7'

The winner of Grand Prix at the Annecy FF in 1967 as well as many international awards, Cages is an examination of a relationship between the system and an imprisoned individual, which teasingly questions the definition of freedom.

CHAIR / Fotel
dir. Daniel Szczechura, 1963, 5'30'

Szczechura uses a clean, graphic style to create a poignant parable about a struggle for power. Inside an anonymous monumental building, tiny characters move up and about, like pawns on a chessboard to reach to the chair of their desires.

THE CAT AND THE MOUSE / Myszka i kotek
dir. Wladyslaw Nehrebecki, 1958, 8'30"

Beautifully drawn, two animal characters in a perpetual chase morph into different shapes and constantly switch places.