Polish Film

A Twentieth Century History


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About the Book

When the Lumière brothers introduced the motion picture in 1895, Poland was a divided and suffering nation—yet Polish artists found their way into the new world of cinema. Boleslaw Matuszewski created his first documentary films in 1896, and Poland’s first movie house was established in 1908. Despite war and repression, Polish cinema continued to grow and to reach for artistic heights. The twentieth century closed with new challenges, but a new generation of Polish filmmakers stood ready to meet them.
Here is a complete history of the Polish cinema through the end of the twentieth century, with special attention to political and economic contexts.

About the Author(s)

Author and film historian Charles Ford lived in Poland and France and taught film history in France, Canada, and Spain. He died in Paris in 1989.
The late Robert Hammond, was an author and film historian who taught cinema history in many institutions including Cornell and Harvard. He lived in Paris.

Bibliographic Details

Charles Ford and Robert Hammond
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 368
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, filmography, appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4677-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0803-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      ix

Introduction      1

I. The Silent Era

1. Filmmakers Without a Country      9

2. Theories and Experiments      21

3. Poland on the World Scene, 1920–1930      42

II. Poland Speaks: Sound Films, 1930–1940

4. Adjustment to Sound      65

5. Films and Their Makers      78

III. World War II and the Postwar Years

6. The War      95

7. New Times, New Ideas      103

8. Postwar Directors      114

IV. Renaissance

9. The Backdrop, 1968–1980      135

10. Unfulfilled Promises      144

11. Three Directors of Note      152

12. The Comet and the Sun      177

13. Totalitarian Nightmare, 1981–1985      194

14. Cut! Dissolve to Fade-Out      201

Filmography by Grazyna Kudy      211

Appendix 1:Notes on Title Translations      297

Appendix 2: The Albany Catalogue: Polish Films Passed Through the New York State Department of Education, 1921–1965      311

Chapter Notes      325

Bibliography      330

Index      331

Book Reviews & Awards

“hugely informative”—Senses of Cinema.