Under the Radar: 70 Years of Polish Animation

  • Live Animation with Mariusz Wilczynski Live Animation with Mariusz Wilczynski
  • Pussy Pussy
  • Son Son
  • Tango Tango
  • Times Have Passed Times Have Passed
  • Kizi Mizi Kizi Mizi
  • From the Green Hill From the Green Hill
  • Fallen Art Fallen Art
  • In the Still of the Night In the Still of the Night
  • Once Upon a Time Once Upon a Time
  • Unfortunately Unfortunately
  • Death to Five Death to Five
  • The Cathedral The Cathedral


Rafael 1 Sat, Oct 7, 2017 8:45 PM
Sequoia 1 Mon, Oct 9, 2017 9:00 PM
Film Info
Category:Focus: Polish Cinema
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:90 min.
Note Writer:Janis Plotkin


Featuring live animation by Mariusz Wilczynski, with music by Trance Mission

FOCUS: POLISH CINEMA From the subversive to the suggestive, from the hysterical to the historical: For filmmakers in Poland, animation has been a creative means of liberation, with films that could go under the radar—and sometimes over the top—in this unique collection of shorts from the Communist era to the present. The first screening of this program features live animation by Poland's most treasured animator, Mariusz Wilczynski, accompanied by live music by Trance Mission (30 min). Also featured is Wilczynski’s Kizi Mizi (2007, 20 min), a poetic cat-and-mouse story of love, betrayal, and unwanted solitude. In Wilczynski's student Renata Gasiorowska’s Pussy (2015, 8 min), a young woman’s decision to have some fun has unexpected consequences when she initiates a hilarious evening of adult entertainment. Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica build a playful and subversive collage using improvised geometric shapes and figures cut from old newspapers in Once Upon a Time (1957, 9 min). In Ryszard Czekala’s psychological portrait Son (1970, 10 min), self-sacrificing farmer parents are no longer able to communicate with their educated son. Zbigniew Rybczynski captures multiple events in one room in the mesmerizing Tango (1980, 8 min), winner of the 1983 Best Animated Short Oscar®. In Tomek Baginski’s Fallen Art (2004, 6 min), a decommissioned military base catapults its decorated officers to a remote island where they are free to be themselves.


Live performance at the Oct 7 screening only.


The Oct 9 screening will feature a Mariusz Wilczynski retrospective in place of the live performance:


Wilczynski owes his remarkable style to a combination of suggestive, pulsating cartoon animation with a dreamy repetitions and narrative transformations. By introducing a palette of favorite motifs to his films (e.g., king, heart, fish, old people, birds, balloons), he looks deeply at strong interpersonal relationships while exploring themes of freedom, memory, and urbanization. Wilczynski's works, in both black-and-white and glorious color, are subtle, ephemeral, and perfectly matched with music.

Retrospective includes:

Times Have Passed (1998, 4 min)
From the Green Hill (1999, 5 min)
In the Still of the Night (2000, 3 min)
Unfortunately (2004, 13 min)
Death to Five (2002, 4 min)

Sponsored by

In association with PoloniaSF.org

Included Shorts

Live Animation with Mariusz Wilczynski (30min) More
Pussy (8min) More
Son (10min) More
Tango (8min) More
Times Have Passed (4min) More
Kizi Mizi (20min) More
From the Green Hill (5min) More
Fallen Art (6min) More
In the Still of the Night (2min) More
Once Upon a Time (9min) More
Unfortunately (13min) More
Death to Five (4min) More
The Cathedral (7min) More

Additional Information

Mariusz "Wilk" Wilczynski is considered to be one of the most important creators of avant-garde animation worldwide. worldwide. Born in 1964, Wilczynski is a Polish animation director, painter, performer, and set designer, who graduated from the Painting Faculty of Lódz Fine Arts Academy. He is the creator of one-of- a-kind animated books featured on Polish TV. In 2007, his award-winning works were presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in London. His debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival marks the West Coast premiere of his special live animation with music.

Trance Mission features three virtuoso musicians whose performances crackle and pop with infectious and inventive spirit: Stephen Kent on didjeridu, percussion, cello-sintir, and voice; Beth Custer on B flat, alto, and bass clarinets, voice, and percussion; and Peter Valsamis on drums, percussion, and electronics. Presently at work on a new release slated for 2018, their notable performances include Live Oak Festival, Garden of Memory, Slim’s, Freight & Salvage, Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, Great American Music Hall, East/West Cultural Center, Vancouver, Palms Playhouse, Yoshis, Bumpershoot Festival, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, Jukurrpa Dreamtime Festival, Vienna, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, and Berlin’s Pfefferberg, and many more.