32nd Polish Film Festival Gdynia ‘2007

32. Polish Film Festival. 5 days of screenings. 18 movies seen. I had the chance to experience some of the best Polish cinema ever. I’m a big movie fan and as I’m from Poland I try to watch every possible Polish movie I can (and no, I’m not that patriotic, I was thinking about emigration many times…). Each year it’s different. There were better years, there were worse years. But this year the festival has surpassed my expectations by a very large margin. Most movies were outstanding. This was one of the best if not the best Polish Film Festival ever. Every Polish movie I have seen was either very good or great. There was only one bad movie in the whole main competition, namely Braciszek, so there is no usual Top 5 of the worst festival movies. Here are the best ones:

The best movies of the festival (TOP 5):

  1. Katyń (2007)
  2. Korowód (2007)
  3. Sztuczki (2007)
  4. Aleja gówniarzy (2007)
  5. Pora umierać (2007)

I miss those festival days so much…

During the festival I was also a photographer (or rather a photo reporter). Here are the links to my work:

And since I could not decide which pictures to put up here, I’m presenting you the best three of the many I took:

Agnieszka Warchulska

Agnieszka Warchulska

Julia Pietrucha

Julia Pietrucha

Damian Ul

Damian Ul

The three pictures above are Copyright © 2007 Onet.pl

7th International Film Festival Era New Horizons ‘2007

It’s been over a week since the 7th Era New Horizons Film Festival has ended. Same as last year, I’ve spent 11 days in the cinema. As always, the time has passed quicker that I could imagine. And as always, it was worth every second of it! Although I must say that the movies selection was not as good as that in 2006.

I’ve watched 51 movies. It was as much as one could watch as there were 10 regular festival days with 5 screenings a day plus the opening day with only one screening. I’ve spent about 1150 zł (circa 420$) on the whole festival (accreditation, accommodation, meals, etc.).

The best movies of the festival (TOP 10):

  1. Ostrov (2006)
  2. Gwoemul (2006)
  3. Niwemang (2006)
  4. Beneath Clouds (2002)
  5. Persepolis (2007)
  6. Sutra ujutru (2006)
  7. Look Both Ways (2005)
  8. Nuovomondo (2006)
  9. Walking on Water (2002)
  10. Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále (2006)

The worst movies of the festival (TOP 5):

  1. Nue propriété (2006)
  2. Kurz davor ist es passiert (2006)
  3. Hamlet (2007/III)
  4. Hei yan quan (2006)
  5. Extranjera (2007)

See you next year? Oh, and say no to French cinema! ;)

31st Polish Film Festival ‘2006

It’s been a while now since the 31st Polish Film Festival has ended and I was kind of too busy to write anything besides the movie reviews from the festival but now the right time has come and here is my private summary of this event. It doesn’t matter that it’s been almost a month now since it has ended as it’s a purely personal entry.

6 days, 2 cinemas, 8 simultaneous screenings. I’ve seen only 22 movies, which makes an average of 3,66 movies per day. Not much, you might say, especially comparing it with the accomplishment at 6th Era Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival this year’s summer. This time, unfortunately, besides having a great time watching the movies I was also working. Both as a reporter and a photographer.

Here are my daily reports from the festival (in Polish):

and here are my pictures:

Now as for the festival, it is no surprise that I love Polish cinema. Even its less acclaimed works. That’s why there won’t be a list of TOP 5 worst movies. Not because I don’t want to write one, but because in my opinion none of the movies qualify to be there! Year after year movie critics all over Poland say that Polish cinema is at its knees and nothing good comes out. This is, of course, entirely not true as every year there are small masterpieces to watch. And here are this year’s best movies (according to my taste, of course):

The best movies of the festival (TOP 5):

  1. Bezmiar sprawiedliwości (2006)
  2. Z odzysku (2006)
  3. Przybyli ułani (2006)
  4. Jasminum (2006)
  5. Statyści (2006)

Outside of the competition is Leben der Anderen, Das (2006), which had a special screening at the festival. It would be my number two on this list as it’s a truly remarkable piece of work. But as the above list is Polish-only it’s not there.

And btw: I really do love Polish cinema very, very much!

6th Era Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival ‘2006

Era Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival is over. 11 days in the cinema have passed quicker than one could imagine. Two years ago I wrote a summary report (in Polish) of the 4th edition of the festival, which took place in Cieszyn. This year’s edition, the 6th, took place in Wrocław. Over 100,000 viewers, 675 showings, 522 movies out of which 120 had its first-night showing. 5 screenings a day in 14 cinema halls at the same time (sometimes it was very hard to choose the best available movie to watch).

So was it all worth it? Hell, yeah. I’ve had one of the greatest vacations in my life. It was the third film festival that I’ve attended and it was surely the best. Mainly because of the great titles that Roman Gutek (the organizer) managed to show to us (lots of titles were from the recently ended Cannes Film Festival).

Here are some of my personal statistics: 49 watched movies (5 out of 18 in the main competition, including La Sagrada Familia which has won by popular vote) which gives the average of 4,45 movies per day (that includes the first day that had only one screening of Volver). Most of the time I was able to watch 5 movies a day. I’ve spent about 1050 zł (circa 330$) on the whole festival (including accreditation, accommodation, meals, etc.).

The best movies of the festival (TOP 10):

  1. Plac Zbawiciela (2006)
  2. United 93 (2006)
  3. Doskonale popoludnie (2005)
  4. Slunecní stát (2005)
  5. Volver (2006)
  6. Ryna (2005)
  7. Jak to się robi (2006)
  8. Buena vida delivery (2004)
  9. Crónica de una fuga (2006)
  10. Enfer, L’ (2005)

The worst movies of the festival (TOP 5):

  1. Parapalos (2004)
  2. Leyenda del tiempo, La (2006)
  3. Picado fino (1996)
  4. Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (2005)
  5. Paheli (2005)

See you there next year!