Despite Karol Irzykowski's pronouncements about the importance of cartoons (where artists have full control over the entire creative process), his ideas had only limited impact on the filmmaking practice. The name of the pioneer of puppet cinema, Władysław Starewicz (1882-1965), has to be mentioned in this context, although he never made a film in Poland. Born in a Polish family in Moscow, he received worldwide acclaim for his stop-motion animated films with insects and dolls such as The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle of the Stag Beetles (1910), The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911), and numerous others made at Alexander Khanzhonkov's studio. After 1919 he continued his career in Paris. Apart from Starewicz, other important prewar animators include Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, who experimented with photomontages.
   Animated films gained prominence is postwar Poland. In 1947 the oldest Polish short film studio, SE-MA-FOR, was founded in Warsaw and produced animated films mostly for children. Zenon Wasilewski's film Under the Reign of King Krakus (Za króla Krakusa, 1947) is usually cited as the first postwar animation. Several organizational changes helped to invigorate animated cinema. The Animated Film Studio (Studio Filmów Rysunkowych) in Bielsko-Biała was established in 1956, followed in 1966 by the Short Film Studio (Studio Miniatur Filmowych) in Kraków. Since 1961 the Kraków Film Festival provided the venue for animated films. Relatively free from commercial restrictions, Polish filmmakers were able to produce some truly unique works. In the 1960s, several artistic personalities, among them Piotr Kamler (who continued his career in France), Walerian Borowczyk, Jan Lenica, Daniel Szczechura, and Witold Giersz (b. 1927), received awards at international film festivals, and the term "Polish School of Animation" was commonly used by critics to define the golden age of Polish animation. The animators were mostly trained at the Łódź Film School and at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademia Sztuk Pięknych) in Warsaw.
   The techniques employed by Polish animators as well as the stories they told varied significantly. Some, like Borowczyk and Lenica, relied on cut-out technique to produce the absurdist spirit in animation. The same absurdist tales may be found in animated films by Stefan Schaben-beck (b. 1940), such as Everything Is a Number (Wszystko jest liczbą, 1966) and Stairs (Schody, 1968). Political comments permeate the majority of films made behind the Iron Curtain but are particularly visible in Mirosław Kijowicz's (1929-1999) politically subversive films, which also offered philosophical reflection. After making The Banner (Sztandar, 1965), Cages (Klatki, 1966), Road (Droga, 1971), and Mill (Młyn, 1971), among others, he became the leading exponent of what Polish critics labeled the philosophical brand of Polish animation. Similar allusions to the absurdities of the Communist reality, coupled with sarcastic humor, can be seen in films by Szczechura, such as A Chair (1963) and Hobby (1968). Some filmmakers, for example Giersz, relied on painterly associations in films such as Little Western (Mały western, 1960), Red and White (Czerwone i czarne, 1963), and Horse (Koń, 1967).
   The 1970s brought several interesting films produced in Kraków by the Animated Film Studio and directed by the new wave of animation directors, including Ryszard Czekała (b. 1941), Julian Józef Antonisz (1941-1987), Jerzy Kucia (b. 1942), and Krzysztof Kiwerski (b. 1948). Czekała, later also the maker of narrative films, produced several dreamlike shorts such as The Bird (Ptak, 1968), The Son (Syn, 1970), and The Call (Apel, 1970). Another director, Kucia, became known for his ascetic, detailed observations of reality deprived of typical action. Films such as The Return (Powrót, 1972), Reflections (Refleksy, 1979), and The Parade (Parada, 1986) validate the label "the Bresson of Polish animation" sometimes applied to Kucia in Poland. Another filmmaker associated with the Kraków studio, Antonisz, dealt with noncamera animation—works directly created on celluloid film. His absurdist humor is best seen in films such as Sun: A Non-camera Film (SłońceFilm bez kamery, 1977), Polish Non-camera Newsreels (Polskie kroniki non-camerowe, 1981-1986), and Light at the End of the Tunnel (Światło w tunelu, 1985). In the 1970s, several important films were also made at the SE-MA-FOR studio by, among others, Zbigniew Rybczyński. His later film Tango (1980) received numerous festival awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1983. In addition, a number of important films were produced at the studio in Bielsko-Biała by filmmakers such as Andrzej Czeczot (b. 1933) and Marian Cholerek (b. 1946).
   Contemporary Polish animated filmmakers draw upon the visual language of their predecessors to produce sophisticated and challenging animation. One of the leading representatives of modern animation, Piotr Dumała, gained international fame for his unique stories inspired by Franz Kafka and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, such as Gentle Spirit (1985), Franz Kafka (1991), and Crime and Punishment (2000). A member of the youngest generation, Tomek Bagiński (b. 1976) was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 for his computer-generated fantasy Cathedral (Katedra) and received acclaim for his Fallen Art (Sztuka spadania, 2004). In addition, older directors are still active. For example, Kucia received several prestigious awards for his film made in 2000, Tuning the Instruments (Strojenie instrumentów), and another filmmaker, Czeczot, presented his full-length animated film Eden (2002) at the Festival of Polish Films.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • animation — [ animasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIVe; lat. animatio 1 ♦ Rare Action d animer, de donner la vie. ♢ Théol. Union de l âme au corps. Animation immédiate, dès la conception. 2 ♦ Caractère de ce qui est animé, vif, plein de vie. Parler avec animation. ⇒ chaleur …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Animation — (von lat. animare, „zum Leben erwecken“; animus, „Geist, Seele“) ist im engeren Sinne jede Technik, bei der durch das Erstellen und Anzeigen von Einzelbildern für den Betrachter ein bewegtes Bild geschaffen wird. Die Einzelbilder können… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Animation — An i*ma tion, n. [L. animatio, fr. animare.] 1. The act of animating, or giving life or spirit; the state of being animate or alive. [1913 Webster] The animation of the same soul quickening the whole frame. Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] Perhaps an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Animation — Animation: Das Fremdwort geht auf lat. animatio »Beseelung, Belebung«zurück und gehört zur Wortfamilie von ↑ animieren. Im Deutschen ist es ab dem 16. Jh. in der oben genannten Bedeutung gebräuchlich, zunächst in seiner lat., ab dem 17. Jh. in… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Animation F/X — was an Australian video games developer founded in circa 1992 based out of Brisbane that successfully managed to release two video games featuring the video game character Baron Baldric, a rude geriatric wizard. It was founded by Lindsay… …   Wikipedia

  • animation — ANIMATION. s. f. Terme didactique. Il se dit de l union de l âme au corps. L animation du foetus …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • animation — ► NOUN 1) the state of being full of life or vigour. 2) the technique of filming a sequence of drawings or positions of models to create an illusion of movement. 3) (also computer animation) the creation of moving images by means of a computer …   English terms dictionary

  • Animatĭon — (v. lat.), 1) Belebung, Beseelung 2) Vereinigung der Seele mit der Leibesfrucht; vgl. Traducianer; 3) Aufregung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • animation — index birth (beginning), instigation, life (vitality), spirit Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Animation — 1.Unterhaltung,Unterhaltungsprogramm,Freizeitprogramm,Freizeitgestaltung(Urlaub) 2.Computeranimation,computererzeugteBildsequenz …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • animation — (n.) 1590s, action of imparting life, from L. animationem (nom. animatio) an animating, noun of action from pp. stem of animare (see ANIMATE (Cf. animate) (v.)). Meaning vitality is from 1610s. Cinematographic sense is from 1912 …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.