Krzysztof Zanussi: My first visit to Novosibirsk was in the late '60sBack to list
The second Polish Film Festival was held in Novosibirsk in Pobeda Cinema from May 28 to June 3. The festival poster pleased with a wide panorama of fictional, documentary and animation films, as well as retrospective "From the Gold collection." Krzysztof Zanussi arrived to open the festival and communicated gladly with residents of Novosibirsk during press conference, the meeting with the audience and the special master class. Mister Zanussi answered separately the Kontinent Sibir questions.
Mister Zanussi, thank you that you found time for a trip to the Festival.
I am always pleased to come back here. My first visit to the Novosibirsk Akademgorodok was in the late '60s. Then I saw Russia for the first time, in which there were no peacocky officials. I was greeted by true people, brave and profound. Thus, Novosibirsk is my personal weakness.
How would you characterize the Festival selection?
The Festival program contains a lot of worthy movies. First of all I paid attention to Krzysztof Keslevski's two pictures which will be shown on June 2 within a retrospective «The Gold collection of the Polish films». They are «The short film about murder» and «The short film about love», shot in the late '80s. I can say with pride that I was the producer of these films, and we were on friendly terms and very close with Krzysztof Keslevski. These two films are a part of the well-known "Decalogue", each
part of which is devoted to one of the Bible commandments. It is a good film for adult audience, which makes us think about life.
Which of modern movies would you recommend?
«Suicide room» is shot warmly and with talent; it was very popular among the Polish audience — more than one million people watched it. For our country it is impressive figure. I can advise the film "Courage", shot last year by Greg Zglinski, who continues tradition of the Polish «cinema of moral anxiety». The director, who went through emigration and made his debut in Switzerland, shot a wise picture about life choices.
What can you tell about the Polish industry?
Poland produces about 40 feature-length films a year; unfortunately, it is impossible to watch them all. Of course, there are both blockbusters and failures, and good auteur films. Poland, which unlike many European countries happily avoided recession, supports production of domestic films. To shoot the film is not a problem, but a problem is to show it.
What is the share of domestic films in Polish release?
As everywhere around the world, we watch our movies and American ones. Comparing a share of domestic films in release, Poland is inferior, I think, only to France. Even the Italian and the German viewers watch their films less than we do it. As for Europe as a whole, today the Romanian cinema is in, a Bulgarian, for example, is out, though it also
produces very interesting films. Poland today is also not in vogue.
Please, tell us about your new film «Revisited».
In this film, shot to my 70th birthday, there are the heroes of my old pictures "Family life", «Protective colors» and «Constant». These roles are played by the same actors as 30-40 years ago: Maja Komorowska, Daniel Olbrykhski, Zbigniew Zapasiewich.
According to a plot, the young man, played by Marek Koudelka, the hero of my film «And a warm heart»," which you could see at the last festival, interviews the characters. This work allowed me to visualize the passage of time and answer to myself some questions; besides in 40 years I understand a lot of things differently.
What is time, in your opinion?
I am a former physicist, and I know that scientists still argue about the nature of time. For a common person the time is a punishment. As a believing person, I understand that after death we will be free from time and space. But, like all people, I want to live longer and longer, try to have time to do much in cinema, theater and other fields.
The picture includes fragments from your old films. When was it easier to shoot film, now
or in the 70's?
There were such production estimates in the 70's, about which nobody even dreams now. In those years I shot a movie about the former owner of the factory; I could not even assume that one day private property will return, and the middle class will appear again in the country. And this middle class should learn everything again: how to tie a necktie, drink wine, how to behave and be intelligent. In my opinion, cinema language doesn't develop today, but moves back, and TV series played a big role in this process. They disaccustomed actors to play well, and they give the viewer fast food, a sort of forcemeat. And I want a beefsteak!
From the audience
Rosa Litvinenko, a film critiс:
Very few people can presume today to shoot a theatrical film, which contains a little action, but events connected with the past life of the artist. «Revisited» is a movie, which gives answers to the author, the audience and the actors, who participated in making the film. From this perspective, it is incredibly complex and interesting work. As for spectator perception, towards the end of the film, the questions, which were asked by the young man, wishing to learn the recipe of the correct life, were the most important for me; but such a textbook does not exist, and everyone should use his own way.