TIMECODE: Subversion and Transgression in Polish Exilic Cinema: The Cases of Borowczyk and Zulawski

Date: 25-January-2012
Time: 18:00
Location: On Location, National Media Museum
Speaker: Michael Goddard

Pre-1989 Polish cinema, when it is remembered at all, is usually still seen in terms of a national cinema strongly engaged with historical and social themes, and is associated with the key names of Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kièslowski and the 1970s ‘Cinema of Moral Concern’. This talk will, in contrast argue that the real ‘dissidence’ was elsewhere, in the work of a range of exile Polish directors for whom aesthetics were not subordinated to anything, and whose films are not only more aesthetically radical than their ‘national’ contemporaries but also may have more to say politically, even if they do so in proximity to ‘low’ genres like pornography or horror. This talk will focus on the films of Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Zulawski. In the case of both these directors, it will be shown how their uncompromising and subversive cinematic aesthetics and their transgressions of the limits and norms of European art cinema have resulted in their work being under-appreciated if not invisible.

Michael Goddard is a lecturer in media studies at the University of Salford. His current research centres on Polish and European cinema and visual culture and he is reviews editor of Studies in Eastern European Cinema (SEEC).

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