Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
In December 2011, filmmaker Martin Scorsese travelled to Poland to accept an honorary degree from The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz. During his stay in Poland, he met with Jedrzej Sablinski (a digital restoration expert, now DI Factory CEO), and discussed the digital restoration in Poland achieved within the KinoRP project. In the months following this visit, with the help of The Film Foundation executive director Margaret Bodde and The Digital Film Repository CEO Maciej Molewski (now with all DOTS), the idea of a North American tour of a series of restored Polish classics came together. From an extensive catalogue, Martin Scorsese chose twenty-one masterpieces.

Premiering in New York City at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on February the 5th, 2014, the series featured films from some of Poland's most accomplished and lauded filmmakers, spanning the period from 1957-1987. Each film has been brilliantly restored and digitally remastered to 2K resolution, and brought to the standards of DCP distribution. The program was created by Martin Scorsese's non-profit organisation The Film Foundation, organised in partnership with the National Audiovisual Institute of Poland, and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Film Institute as well as Kadr, Tor and Zebra film studios.


Provincial Actors (Aktorzy prowincjonalni) by Agnieszka Holland:
After an apprenticeship as Andrzej Wajda's assistant, Agnieszka Holland made her solo debut with this ambitious ensemble piece. The story of a trendy young theatre director attempting a politically controversial reinterpretation of a well-known Polish play provides both an allegorical study of cultural interference and a lacerating portrait of a withering marriage.

Camouflage (Barwy ochronne) by Krzysztof Zanussi
A linguistics competition at a university's summer camp is the backdrop for a wittily satirical drama about the elusiveness of language. An idealistic teacher, Jaroslaw (Piotr Garlicki), and his more manipulative older colleague, Jakub (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz), assess not only each entry’s intrinsic merit, but also whether it ticks sufficient official boxes to be prizeworthy – an experience with which Polish filmmakers were all too ruefully familiar.

The Constant Factor (Constans) by Krzysztof Zanussi
A man obsessed by the impending death of his mother and a dream of climbing mountains retreats into mathematics, trying to discover a 'constant factor' that will make sense of the world’s apparently random capriciousness. It's one of Zanussi's most mordantly clear-eyed films about the moral challenges posed by trying to maintain a normal life in a corrupt bureaucracy.

Man of Iron (Czlowiek z zelaza) by Andrzej Wajda
As the Solidarity protests swelled in 1980, Wajda grabbed camera and crew, pulled ready-made characters off the shelf (from his earlier 'Man of Marble') and filmed this story of government-backed espionage against the real backdrop of world-changing history unfolding: even activist and future President Lech Walesa (himself later the subject of Wajda's 'Walesa: Man of Hope') has a cameo. It won both the Palme d’Or and a domestic ban when martial law was declared.

Pharaoh (Faraon) by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Kawalerowicz spent three years making what was once Poland's most expensive film, a huge widescreen epic about the struggle between Ramesses XIII (Jerzy Zelnik) and his high priests. But this is no Cecil B DeMille spectacle: co-screenwriter Tadeusz Konwicki regarded it as 'a penetrating analysis of a system of power'. Previously released internationally only in a severely truncated version, 'Pharaoh' has now been restored to its spectacular original form.

Jump (Salto) by Tadeusz Konwicki
In this rich and subtle dream-play, a man arrives in a small country town and demands sanctuary from an unspecified threat. But who is he, why do people remember him differently, and can he really perform miracles? Many Poles consider this Cybulski's greatest performance and he's certainly on riveting form, especially when performing a 'salto' folk dance towards the end.

The Hourglass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod klepsydra) by Wojciech Has
A hallucinatory head-swiveller of a film, which combines several of Bruno Schulz's short fantasy works into a floridly baroque journey of a man visiting a mysterious sanatorium. He enters a world based as much on his anxieties and long-buried memories as it is on objective reality, a world crammed with exotic birds, mechanical automata resembling historical figures and haunting images of Poland's now-vanished Jewish past.

The Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana) by Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda’s viscerally vivid adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner Wladyslaw Reymont’s late-19th-century novel is a ruthlessly clear-eyed anatomising of the industrial revolution from the perspective of three young entrepreneurs vying to be the most ruthless. One of the most outstanding and astonishing works by arguably the greatest of all Polish directors, ‘The Promised Land’ was voted the best film in the history of Polish cinema in 1996.

8 x BD50 | 1080p AVC | 291 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English, Polish, Francais
Genre: Comedy, Drama, History, Fantasy

Download Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema Volume 1: Provincial Actors (1979), Camouflage (1977), The Constant Factor (1980), Man of Iron (1981), Pharaoh (1966), Jump (1965), The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973), The Promised Land (1975) 8 x Blu-Ray:

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