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Krzysztof Zanussi

PHILOSOPHER OF THE EUROPEAN CINEMA

Zanussi was born on June 17, 1939 in Warsaw. In 1955-59 he studied Physics at Warsaw University and attended lectures on cinema at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw (1956-57). In 1959 he enrolled at the faculty of Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Crakow, ... [ more ]

8 Titles

CAMOUFLAGE [BARWY OCHRONNE]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Mariusz Dmochowski; Piotr Garlicki; Christine Paul-Podlasky; Zbigniew Zapasiewicz
Country, Year of production:
PL, 1977
Color: Color
Genre: Drama; Comedy

Jaroslaw, a young philologist, finds out that the academic world is ruled by cowardly conformists. His colleagues are slaves to the dumb, dishonest deputy rector who only cares about his own interests. Jakub, a diabolic professor, makes use of his intellect to manipulate others. He tries to introduce his younger colleague to the secret rules of academic careers. He ruthlessly uproots Jaroslaw's youthful idealism by showing that academic success is often available to those cynical and ruthless rather than those with a true talent. The film is a classic of "moral unrest" cinema. The academic world is a metaphor of the state system where compromise is a necessity that pays off. To compromise, to trade off interests is part of the "life game" played in Poland that time. The director seems to ...

FAMILY LIFE [ZYCIE RODZINNE]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Witold Sobocinski
Cast: Maja Komorowska; Jan Kreczmar; Halina Mikolajska; Jan Nowicki; Daniel Olbrychski
Country, Year of production:
PL, 1971
Color: Color
Genre: Drama

Vit, 30, works for an architectural design studio in Silesia. One day he receives a message from home, urging him to visit his sick father. Vit goes to a small town near Warsaw. The sickness turns out to be an excuse. The father wants Vit to take responsibility for the family. Vit however refuses to be a saviour for his relatives whose lifestyle he despises. His father is an alcoholic, his sister Bella a nyphomanic, his aunt slovenly and extravagant. Vit leaves failing to meet their expectations. The question of whether one has the right to cut away from one´s family if they threaten one´s individuality and prevent one from achieving important personal targets opened a hot debate in the press.

ILLUMINATION [ILUMINACJA]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Monika Dzienisiewicz-Olbrychska; Stanislaw Latallo; Malgorzata Pritulak; Jan Skotnicki; Edward Zebrowski
Country, Year of production:
PL, 1973
Color: Color
Genre: Drama

Franciszek Retman, a student of physics, is looking for the meaning of life. He tries to find the gist of existence in gaining knowledge and experiencing love. The duties he must face make him realize that one is not always the forger of one's fate but sometimes has to submit to external circumstances. Franciszek marries his transient lover Malgosia when she becomes pregnant. Later he has to leave the University and take up a job to provide for his wife and child. He is still bothered by the fundamental existential questions. He wants to penetrate the nature of death, spends some time in a hermits' monastery only to return to his family, studies, and mundane existence.The illumination announced in the film's title is the moment of sudden enlightenment that saints, wise and learned men are ...

LIFE AS A FATAL SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE [ZYCIE JAKO SMIERTELNA CHOROBA PRZENOSZONA DROGA PLCIOWA ]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Szymon Bobrowski; Tadeusz Bradecki; Aleksander Fabisiak; Krystyna Janda; Monika Krzywkowska; Pawel Okraska; Jerzy Radziwilowicz; Zbigniew Zapasiewicz
Country, Year of production:
PL; F, 2000
Color: Color
Genre: Drama

Tomasz, a physican in his sixties, works on the set of a film about Saint Bernard, who prepares a horse thief for death. Intelligent but moody, Tomasz suspects he might be terminally ill. A series of edical tests only confirms his suspicion. A desire awakens in Tomasz to deny all moral values he used to cherish and to prove them wrong. Pretending to be a friend, he tries to destroy a young couple´s love, engages in a game with a young priest, hoping to hear the confessions of his lost faith, and finally gets ready to commit suicide. Nonetheless he never stops waiting for a sign, a spiritual force to guide him in life. The sign comes, unexpectedly, in a hospital room.

LIFE FOR LIFE - MAXIMILIAN KOLBE [ZYCIE ZA ZYCIE]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi; Jan Jozef Szczepanski
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Artur Barcis; Christoph Waltz; Edward Zentara
Country, Year of production:
PL; D, 1991
Color: Color
Genre: Drama; Biography

July 1941 - The young Silesian Jan escaped fom the concentration camp Auschwitz. For this fugitive the camp commander Fritsch condemns ten prisoners to go into the starvation bunker. When one of them collapses under this sentence of death the Franciscan prioest Maximilian Maria Kolbe sacrifices his own life instead. From now on Jan is not only fleeing from the Gestapo but also from his own guilt, his involvement in Kolbe's death...

PERSONA NON GRATA

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Maria Bekker; Andrzej Chyra; Remo Girone; Nikita Mikhalkov; Daniel Olbrychski; Jerzy Stuhr; Zbigniew Zapasiewicz
Country, Year of production:
PL; RUS; I, 2005
Color: Color
Genre: Drama

Victor, the Polish ambassador to Uruguay, is pained by the sudden death of his beloved wife. Visiting his home country, he meets with the Russian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Oleg. They had made friends 20 years earlier when Victor was an activist of the political undergound and Oleg was a young Soviet diplomat in Poland. Their long-time close friendship is burdened with two suspicions. On the one hand, Victor thinks that Oleg could be delegated by his embassy to infiltrate the polish political opposition. On the other hand, Oleg's intimate friendship with Victor's deceased wife suggests that the wife may have betrayed Victor with the charming Russian friend. Victor had recommended his young protégé, Waldemar, to work with the Polish embassy in Uruguay. Waldemar has a beautiful ...

STRUCTURE OF CRYSTAL, THE [STRUKTURA KRYSZTALU]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Stefan Matyjaszkiewicz
Cast: Wladyslaw Jarema; Jan Myslowicz; Barbara Wrzesinska; Andrzej Zarnecki
Country, Year of production:
PL, 1969
Color: black/white
Genre: Drama

Jan (Jan Myslowicz), a physicist, works as a meteorologist in a small village. His wife Anna (Barbara Wresinka) is a local teacher. Marek (Andrzej Zarnecki), a promising scientist, Jan´s colleague from the University, pays a visit. He tries to persuade Jan to return to University. Unexpectedly, his suggestions meet with strong resistance. The film is Zanussi´s first full-length feature film and it was considered an exceptionally interesting debut. The film pictures two life strategies. One is to use one´s intellect to the utmost, a thrilling path that leads to wealth and respect, the other is to consciously seek the meaning of existence in refuting everything. By rejecting all amenities of civilisation, Jan gets immersed in a simple, biological life, and submits to the passing of time ...

SUPPLEMENT, THE [SUPLEMENT]

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Director of Photography: Edward Klosinski
Cast: Szymon Bobrowski; Tadeusz Bradecki; Agata Buzek; Aleksander Fabisiak; Monika Krzywkowska; Teresa Marczewska; Pawel Okraska; Karol Urbanski; Zbigniew Zapasiewicz
Country, Year of production:
PL, 2002
Color: Color
Genre: Drama

"Supplement" is a love story of a young couple. He is torn in half for fear of sinking into the common run or rat race for the money. He even contemplates joining a monastic state to steer clear of the hardships of day-to-day living. She is an university student and makes her living as a wardrobe assistant in filmprojects and fashion shows. She is afraid that she stands in her boyfriend´s way to self-fulfilment. But equally she wonders whether she should not force him to face up to life.