Kutz, Kazimierz

(1929-)
   One of the old masters of Polish cinema and a prominent member of the Polish School generation, chiefly known for his films about Upper Silesia—the place of his birth. Kutz is also an accomplished theater director, essayist, political commentator, and political activist and a member of the Senate (parliamentary upper chamber) since 1997. In addition to filmmaking, Kutz founded and headed the Silesia Film Unit in Katowice (1972-1978) and taught at the Katowice Film and Television School (1979-1983).
   Unlike Andrzej Wajda, Kutz usually focused on ordinary people absorbed by history, rather than on history epitomized by individual cases. After assisting Wajda on A Generation (1955) and Kanal (1957), he started his career in 1959 directing Cross of Valor (Krzyz walecznych), which consists of three war novellas dealing with regular soldiers in ordinary situations. His next film, Nobody Is Calling (Nikt nie woła, 1960), is one of the most original films made during the Polish School period. Often discussed as polemical with Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds, this episodic, slow-paced film introduces a Home Army (AK) fighter who is hunted by his former colleagues for military disobedience. The film's formalist poetics caused consternation among the film critics and the disapproval of the film authorities. After the well-received People from the Train (Ludzie z pociągu, 1961), Kutz's return to the realistic depiction of the war, psychology of the crowd, and accidental heroism, several of his realistic films made in the 1960s received mixed reviews: Wild Horses (Tarpany, 1962), Silence (Milczenie, 1963), Whoever Knows (Ktokolwiek wie, 1966), and Robbery (Skok, 1967/1969).
   Kutz's return to his roots, his native Upper Silesia, proved to be one of the most important moments in post-1945 Polish cinema. He scripted and directed a trilogy of personal films that form the contemporary Polish canon: Salt of the Black Earth (Sól ziemi czarnej, 1970), The Pearl in the Crown (Perła w koronie, 1972), and Beads of One Rosary (Paciorki jednego róZańca, 1980). Salt of the Black Earth deals with the Second Polish Rising against the German rule of Silesia in 1920, but it also creates a poetic image of the province, which was traditionally regarded by the Warsaw-based Polish film industry as an unglamorous, unphotogenic land of hard work and coal mines. In a folk-ballad manner, Kutz portrays grayish images of industrial Silesia contrasted with the reddish color of miners' brick houses and utilizes dialogue in Silesian dialect. The discourses on class solidarity, family ties, love for the family, and love for the land are at the center of The Pearl in the Crown, which concerns the coal miners' strike in the 1930s. Relying on nonprofessional actors from Silesia, the intimate Beads of One Rosary, Kutz's farewell to the old Silesia, tells the story of a retired miner and his struggle to preserve an old way of life.
   Kutz continued to be one of the key figures in Polish cinema in the 1990s. Active in theater and television, he directed, among others, two more films about Silesia—The Turned Back (Zawrócony, 1994) and Death as a Slice of Bread (Śmierć jak kromka chleba, 1994), both films referring to the introduction of martial law in 1981. The tragicomic, grotesque story of the former (Best Film award at the 1994 Festival of Polish Films) is replaced in the latter by tragedy and pathos in a faithful reconstruction of the sit-in strike at the coal mine Wujek. Another successful film, Colonel Kwiatkowski (Pułkownik Kwiatkowski, 1996), based on Jerzy Stefan Stawinski's script, introduced a picaresque hero, an army physician who assumes the false identity of a high-ranking officer in the secret police during the Stalinist period.
   Other films: Heat (Upał, 1964), The Line (Linia, 1975), From Nowhere to Nowhere (Znikąd donikąd, 1975), I Will Stand on Guard (Na strazy swej stać będę, 1983), The Brothers Will Come Soon (Wkrótce nadejdą bracia, 1986), The Terrible Dream of Dzidziuś Górkiewicz (Straszny sen Dzidziusia Górkiewicza, 1993), Fame and Glory (Sława i chwała, TV series, 1997).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Kazimierz Kutz — Kazimierz Julian Kutz (* 16. Februar 1929 in Katowice Szopienice) ist ein polnischer Schauspieler, Filmregisseur und Politiker und 2001 2005 Vize Marschall des polnischen Senats …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Kutz — Kụtz,   Kazimierz, polnischer Filmregisseur, * Szopienice (bei Kattowitz) 16. 2. 1929; befasst sich mit dem Krieg, mit psychologischen Zusammenhängen, auch mit den Problemen Oberschlesiens.   Filme: Die Schuld (1963); Wer kennt diese Frau?… …   Universal-Lexikon

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