Blanche dir. Walerian BorowczykBlanche dir. Walerian Borowczyk
09 July 2013
Walerian Borowczyk: retrospective, book, posters and meetings with colleagues of the artist

Films by Walerian Borowczyk will be presented during the 13th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF in Wrocław (18-28 July). Borowczyk is one of the most important experimentalists in Polish cinema, the author of animated films, a provocateur, painter, screenwriter, stage designer, writer and graphic artist. The programme will include a screening of the little known Mazepyby Juliusz Słowacki - Blanche starringLigia Borowczyk, the full-length animation The Theatre of Mr. and Mrs. Kabal, anti-totalitarian Goto – Island of Love (banned in Communist Poland), the widely-known adaptation of Stefan Żeromski’s novel Story of a Sin as well as his two most important artistic erotic films (Immoral TalesThe Beast). This will also mark the first showings of restored copies of the following films in several decades: The Concert of Mr. and Mrs. KabalGrandmother’s EncyclopaediaRenaissanceThe Game of the AngelsJoachim’s Dictionaryand Dyptique as well as the full-length films mentioned above: The Theatre of Mr. and Mrs. Kabal and Blanche. Borowczyk was a perfectionist who only allowed his works to be shown in the proper conditions using excellent copies, hence the long absence of these films from screens. The restored copies were approved by the artist’s widow, Ligia Borowczyk.

One festival highlight will be a screening of an original version of Immoral Tales (24 July, 16.15, NHC 8), featuring five and not four film stories! After the screening, Alexander Beneke and Carsten Baiersdorfer, who carried out the digital reconstruction of all five stories, will talk about their work as well as the struggle they faced to remove Immoral Tales and The Beast from the list of films banned by German censors.

The release of the book CORPUS DELICTI by Jakub Mikurda and Jakub Woynarowski coincides with the retrospective. It contains a visual essay derived from the psychoanalysis and theoretical writings of André Breton. This book-object refers to the elaborate, 19th century prayer books and 18th century illustrated libertine novels. On Tuesday 23 July a performative lecture will take place featuring the authors of CORPUS DELICTI. As part of the retrospective, the Polish Poster Gallery in Wrocław (ul. św. Mikołaja 54-55) will also organise a poster exhibition of the films of Walerian Borowczyk.

The retrospective will also be accompanied by meetings with colleagues of the artist, who will throw a new light on Borowczyk’s creativity, frequently seen only through the prism of erotic films. On Sunday 21 July (15.45, NHC 2) the preview curator Daniel Bird will present the illustrated lecture Walerian Borowczyk – Dark Pleasures, which presents assembled snippets of Borowczyk’s films. It draws attention to a few of the artist’s obsessions: objects, animals, rituals, fighting, spectacles, voyeurism, women, love, death, humour, etc. This exceptional presentation also includes rare archival material from the period during which The Beast was filmed as well as fragments from an interview in which Borowczyk speaks openly about many important issues in his work. On Tuesday 23 July (15.45, NHC 2) an incredible meeting and conversation will take place between Daniel Bird, an assistant of Borowczyk, Michal Levy and operator Noël Véry - Borowczyk in the Frame. During an audio-visual presentation, Véry will talk about working with Borowczyk during the filming of the legendary horror Dr Jekyll et les femmes, and Levy will discuss the truly insane experience of working with Borowczyk in creating the artist’s boldest films.

We invite you to read the text written by Daniel Bird, who prepared this section with Urszula Śniegowska.

Daniel Bird: Reconstructing Borowczyk

The retrospective of Walerian Borowczyk’s work as well as the book CORPUS DELICTI were created in cooperation with the National Audiovisual Institute. 


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