Kawalerowicz, Jerzy

   One of Poland's most prominent directors, Kawalerowicz started his career as an assistant director on the first postwar Polish film, Forbidden Songs (1947). In 1954, after his much-criticized feature debut, The Village Mill (Gromada, 1952, codirected by Kazimierz Sumerski), he directed an epic diptych, A Night of Remembrance (Celuloza) and Under the Phrygian Star (Pod gwiazdą frygijską), perhaps the best work produced during the period of socialist realist cinema and influenced by Italian neorealist and classic Soviet biographical films. Kawalerowicz portrays a coming-of-age story about a peasant's son who moves to town, works in a cellulose factory, matures, gains "class consciousness," and becomes a Communist activist. Kawalerowicz's next film, Shadow (Cień, 1956), written by Aleksander Ścibor-Rylski, was an unusual, suspenseful story set in the postwar Polish political climate. In The True End of the Great War (Prawdziwy koniec wielkiej wojny, 1957), he developed a psychological study of a woman, Róża (Lucyna Winnicka), and the two men in her life: her emotionally disturbed husband, a concentration camp survivor, and the man she turned to when she thought that her husband was dead.
   During the Polish School period, Jerzy Kawalerowicz also produced two stylistically refined films—Night Train (aka Baltic Express, Pociąg, 1959) and Mother Joan of the Angels (Matka Joanna od Aniołów, 1961). These two internationally known films received numerous awards, including the Georges Melies award and the Best Actress award Winnicka received at the 1959 Venice Film Festival for her role in Night Train. Kawalerowicz also won a Silver Palm at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival for Mother Joan of the Angels. Night Train is a film with Hitchcockian overtones about two characters, Marta (Winnicka) and Jerzy (Leon Niemczyk), who are forced to share a compartment in an overnight train heading for a Baltic resort. Mother Joan of the Angels, a classic tale about demonic possession set in eighteenth-century eastern Poland, is loosely based on the well-known story about the possessed nuns at the seventeenth-century monastery in Loudun, France.
   In 1966 Kawalerowicz directed one of the best Polish historical films, The Pharaoh (Faraon), nominated for an Oscar in 1967 in the Best Foreign Film category. The script by Kawalerowicz and Tadeusz Konwicki follows Bolesław Prus's celebrated novel about a young pharaoh (Jerzy Zelnik) who tries to modernize Egypt but is defeated by his antagonists—the priests. Kawalerowicz's historical epic, enormous by Polish standards, is still absorbing not only for its theme, but chiefly for its grand formal beauty: Eisensteinian compositions of frame (cinematography by Jerzy Wójcik), stylized gestures and movements of actors, and creative design. Kawalerowicz also received critical acclaim for his Death of a President (Śmierć prezydenta, 1977), depicting the 1922 assassination of the first Polish president, Gabriel Narutowicz, by a nationalist fanatic. Austeria (aka The Inn, 1983), the last renowned Kawalerowicz film, portrays the idealized Jewish world of a small eastern Galician town at the outbreak of World War I. Its protagonist, Tag (Franciszek Pieczka), the innkeeper at Austeria, witnesses diverse communities who gather in his inn on the eve of the war. Kawalerowicz's two films released after the wall came down, The Prisoner of Europe (Jeniec Europy, 1989) and For What? (Za co? 1996) were poorly received by critics and ignored by audiences. In 2001 he tried to regain his audience with the adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz's classic novel Quo Vadis (2001), the most expensive Polish film ever made.
   Apart from being a respected film director, since 1955 Kawalerowicz also headed Kadr, one of the most prominent film units, taught at the Łódź Film School, and acted as the cofounder and head of the Polish Filmmakers Association (1966-1978). A member of the Communist Party (PZPR) from 1954 until its disbanding in 1989, Kawalerowicz was also a member of the People's Poland Parliament from 1985 to 1989.
   Other films: The Game (Gra, 1968), Maddalena (1971), Meeting on the Atlantic (Spotkanie na Atlantyku, 1980), Bronsteins Kinder (1990).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kawalerowicz, Jerzy — • КАВАЛЕРО ВИЧ (Kawalerowicz) Ежи (р. 19.1.1922)    польск. режиссёр. Чл. ПОРП. Учился в Академии изобразит, иск в (1945 48) и на кинокурсах (1946) в Кракове. В 1947 51 ассист. режиссёра и 2 й режиссёр. В 1952 пост. ф. Община (с К. Сумерским) об… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Kawalerowicz, Jerzy — ► (n. 1922) Director cinematográfico polaco. Posee un sentido preciso del detalle. Películas: Muerte de un presidente (1976), Austeria (1982) y Quo Vadis (2000) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kawalerowicz — Kawalerowicz, Jerzy …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kawalerowicz — Jerzy Kawalerowicz 2001 Jerzy Kawalerowicz (* 19. Januar 1922 in Gwosdez, heute Ukraine; † 27. Dezember …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jerzy Kawalerowicz — Born 19 January 1922(1922 01 19) Gwozdziec, Poland Died 27 December 2007( …   Wikipedia

  • Jerzy Kawalerovicz — Jerzy Kawalerowicz Jerzy Kawalerowicz en 2001. Jerzy Kawalerowicz est un réalisateur et scénariste polonais, né le 19 janvier 1922 à Gwoździec et mort le 27 décembre 2007 à Varsovie. Il est le scénariste de tous les films qu il a réalisé, sauf L… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jerzy — Pronunciation [ˈjɛʐɨ][1] Gender masculine Language(s) Polish Other names …   Wikipedia

  • Jerzy Kawalerowicz — 2001 Jer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jerzy Kawalerowicz — en 2001 Données clés Naissance 19  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jerzy Duszyński — Born Jerzy Duszyński 15 May 1917(1917 05 15) Moscow, Russia Died 23 July 1978(1978 07 23) (aged 61) Warsaw, Poland …   Wikipedia

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