We're really excited about an upcoming event we're doing, a series of Roman Polanski's early short films with live musical accompaniment by Polish duo Sza/Za. Polanski is a master of his craft, one of the truly great filmmaking talents of our time, and these short films from the late '50s and early '60s demonstrate some of the same preoccupations and creativity that show up in his later work like CHINATOWN, ROSEMARY'S BABY, and THE PIANIST. These rarely seen, vintage 35mm prints are going to make for an awesome night at the Ritz.
That would be enough, but Sza/Za is going to be here to make the night that much better. If you don't know their unique style, check this video out:
They also incorporate fun gags and theatrics during their performances that will never compete with the beauty of Polanski's films but always complement them. They'll be doing some original variations on the work of Polish jazz master Krzysztof Komeda, who was a longtime collaborator with Polanski in Europe and in Hollywood.
We're also very excited to be teaming up on this screening with the Austin Polish Film Festival, who is celebrating their fifth year of bringing the best contemporary Polish films to this city. This year, the APFF will host the southwest premieres of seven films from Poland at the Texas Spirit Theater in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum at 1800 N. Congress Avenue, and an exhibit of Polish film posters, Streetwise: Polish Film Posters, at 912 Congress Avenue.
Some highlights from this year's festival:
Friday, November 5 at 7 pm: The APFF opens with a Gala Reception (serving Polish food) and the award-winning film, Rewers/Reverse, 2009 (101 min.), directed by the exciting young Polish director, Borys Lankosz. Dr. Gilbert Rappaport, from the UT Austin Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies will introduce this award-winning film.
Saturday, November 6 at 7:40 pm: APFF presents the award-winning short, Królik po berlińsku/Rabbit à la Berlin, directed by Bartosz Konopka, (2009, 51 min.).
Saturday, November 13 at 12:30pm: Anthology of Polish Children Animation, at the Austin Public Library, Howson Branch, 2500 Exposition, Austin, TX 7870. This free event, presents Polish animation which is not just for kids. This never-before-screened-in-Texas collection of Polish animation is presented for all viewers. Lovers of fine art animation are sure to value the unusually artistic quality and innovative form of these older and new gems. The works span the period from 1954 through 2005.The films are appropriate for any age, but targeted for children 4-12 and their parents.
APFF pass for all screenings and events from November 4 -14, 2010, is only $50. Your donation contributes to the APS fund for filmmakers to study or work in Texas or in Poland. For more info, please visit the Austin Polish Film Festival. Badgeholders get a discounted ticket for the Polanski show.
And be sure to come out to see Roman Polanski's short films at the Ritz on Sunday, Nov 7 at 7:00pm. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the cinema legend's early work on 35mm with the awesome Sza/Za sweetly caressing your ears. Do not miss!