Konwicki, Tadeusz

(1926-)
   Prominent writer, scriptwriter, and director, Tadeusz Konwicki was instrumental during the Polish School period as both filmmaker and the literary director of the film unit Kadr (1956-1968). Although Konwicki started his writing career in 1946, he attracted the attention of critics and readers later, when he detached himself from the socialist realist dogma with his 1956 novel Marshes (Rojsty), which told the story of the Home Army (AK) unit that fights the Germans, then the Soviets. Konwicki directed his first film in 1958 in the spirit of the new wave, The Last Day of Summer (Ostatni dzień lata), which deals with his favorite themes: evocations of past times and the impossibility of overcoming the burden of war. In his next film, All Souls' Day (Zaduszki, 1961), Konwicki discontinued the realistic narrative by including four lengthy flashbacks that dealt with World War II. He portrayed the obsessive memories of his characters (Edmund Fetting and Ewa Krzyżewska), who were crippled by war experiences, incapable of forgetting, and unable to live in the present. His 1965 film, Somersault (Salto, 1965), debunked the Polish war mythology and also focused on the impossibility of freeing oneself from the shadow of the war.
   Konwicki's How Far from Here, yet How Near (Jak daleko stąd, jak blisko, 1972) was, like his novels, a filmic essay replete with autobiographical features, an essay on memory with thinly veiled political observations. His last two films also moved between the present and the past: The Valley of Issa (Dolina Issy, 1982), based on Czesław Miłosz's novel, and Lava: The Story of Forefathers (Lawa: Opowieść o dziadach, 1989), the adaptation of the canonized drama by Adam Mickiewicz. Konwicki is also a scriptwriter of his own films and wrote, among others, scripts for several classic Polish films by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, such as Mother Joan of the Angels (1961), The Pharaoh (1966), and Austeria (1983), and Andrzej Wajda's A Chronicle of Amorous Accidents (1985).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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