Andrzej Żuławski Retrospective

Depford Cinema mini-season






Deptford Cinema
39 Deptford Broadway
London SE8 4PQ

This Autumn joins as for the retrospective of Andrzej Żuławski - one of the most internationally recognised and respected masters of Polish cinema. Featuring a strong female character in the very centre of his work, this is a collection of his most fascinating, luring and complex films. Starting on 24 November, Deptford Cinema will screen 5 of his greatest titles: Possession, Szamanka, The most important thing: Love, Third part of the night, and Cosmos.

24 November, 8pm
Possession dir. Andrzej Żuławski, France / West Germany 1981, 118 mins

Divisiveness and duplicity are at heart of Żuławski's notorious cult film, and Possession's dramatic structure is almost as schizoid as its protagonists, married couple Mark (Sam Neill) and Anna (Isabelle Adjani), whose relationship inexplicably comes apart: The film's first half comes on like Scenes from a Marriage as directed by Lars von Trier and played at double speed, a lacerating depiction of disintegration both marital and psychological, while the latter half steadily morphs into Repulsion by the way of Cronenber's The Brood when Anna holed up in a rundown flat and proceeds to dispatch any man brazen enough to disturb her love-in with a tentacular monstrosity she most likely miscarried months earlier. Confused? Terrified? Come see for yourself.

25 November, 8pm
Szamanka dir. Andrzej Żuławski, Poland 1996, 109 mins

Szamanka is a Polish-French-Swiss film, released in 1996, directed by Andrzej Żuławski and adapted from a screenplay by Manuela Gretkowska. The film, which was controversial upon its release in Poland, is about the obsessive relationship between an anthropology professor and a strange young woman only known as the "Italian". The name of the film is the Polish feminine form of the word "shaman”.

The Italian is extremely beautiful and radiates a certain primitive, dangerous sexuality ... which is run by wild animal instincts: the girl is unpredictable, swift and mad. She may violently, just like Szamanka, make love to a stranger and quietly steal whatever she pleases. She exudes a powerful passion, a passion that knows no barriers, but passion fatal
How will she react when her lover falls fatally in love with her...?

26 November, 8pm
That Most Importat Thing: Love dir. Andrzej Żuławski, France / Italy / West Germany 1975, 109 mins

That Most Important Thing: Love (L'important c'est d'aimer) is the first French film directed by Andrzej Żuławski. Based on the popular novel by Christopher Frank "La Nuit américaine", it tells the story of a passionate love affair between Nadine Chevalier (Romy Schneider) a B-List actress, and photographer Servais Mont (Fabio Testi) within the violent and unforgiving context of show business. Their love is not easy for while Nadine is married and remains attached to Jacques (Jacques Dutronc), Servais is in love with her and unwilling to give up. In an attempt to help her, he borrows money from loan sharks to finance the theatrical production of Richard III and give Nadine a part.
Romy Schneider obtained the inaugural César Award for Best Actress for her outstanding role in the film.

8 December, 8pm
Third part of the night dir. Andrzej Żuławski, Poland 1971, 105 mins

The Third Part of the Night, 1971 is a film by Andrzej Żuławski, the enfant terrible of Polish Cinema. It is also a film about the Polish experience, but one made by a filmmaker too young to remember the War. It was made in 1971, before the so-called Polish cinema of moral concern of Holland, Kieslowski and Zanussi. It is based (in part) on the life of Żuławski's father, Mirosław, during the Second World War. It is perhaps the first (and probably the last) film about Weigl Institute in Lwow. But above all else, it is the debut film of one of cinema s true visionaries.

The film is a surrealist journey into the heart of darkness that was the Nazi occupation of Poland, seen through the eyes of a nascent member of the Polish underground trying to forget the memory of a family tragedy.

"A complex and surreal work... a haunting first feature" Time Out

"Żuławski... a mature artist , a personality in possession of an imagination more wide-ranging than any in Polish cinema" International Film Guide

15 December, 8pm
Cosmos dir. Andrzej Żuławski, France / Portugal 2015, 103 mins

The Polish director Andrzej Żuławski, who died of cancer in February, was one of the most relentlessly inquisitive and idiosyncratic human beings ever to step behind a movie camera. His films were ferocious, ambitious and often ridiculous (1981’s berserk marriage-drama-with-tentacles '€˜Possession’ is perhaps his best known). Żuławski’s swansong, 'Cosmos’, is no different - entrancing, frustrating and utterly singular.

It’s a modernised adaptation of Polish author Witold Gombrowicz’s 1965 novel, in which a pair of well-off young men arrive at a small-town hostel to spend a few days. There, they encounter mysteries - a sparrow hanging from a tree, a noose around its neck; a scorch mark on a wall. The pair decide to mount a kind of artistic, intellectualised investigation.


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