Vol 2, No 12
27 March 2000
C U L T U R E R O U N D - U P:
Poland's Week in Culture
In this, a slightly shorter than usual, edition of the culture round-up from Poland we briefly report on the most important events of last week, look at how France received Pan Tadeusz and tell you why Thursday was the highlight of a theater festival.
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The 25th Cracow Theater Reminiscences took place from 23 to 27 March and gathered such eminent theater groups as Komuna Otwock, Witkacy Theater from Zakopane, Porywacze Ciał (Body Snatchers) of Poznań and Unia Teatr Niemożliwy (Impossible Theater Union) of Warsaw. There was another theater festival in Grudziądz from 24 March to 26 March, where Kriket Theater from Chorzów, Teatr Osobowy (Personal Theater) from Wrocław and the Test Studio Theater from Warsaw performed. Dinosaur rocker Joe Cocker gave three concerts in Poland: in Wrocław, Warsaw and Poznań.
Pan Tadeusz by Andrzej Wajda (who by the way received his Oscar in Los Angeles on 26 March) opened in France last weekend. French dailies gave it a rather warm welcome on the whole, except for Le Monde which found nothing positive about the film, calling it "stereotypical" and "boring." Other newspapers, such Le Croix or Le Figaro received it with praise, publishing encouraging reviews and interviews with actors and the director himself. The weeklies Telerama and Nouvel Observateur were far from giving good marks for Wajda, calling Pan Tadeusz "too long" and "not understandable for anyone except romantic Poles."
See also Kinoeye's article on Andrzej Wajda in this week's issue.
Interpretacje (Interpretations) is only festival of this kind in Poland, as it is a theater competition for directors, not actors. Interpretacje has won a strong position in Katowice's rather poor (compared to Kraków's) theater landscape. In eight days nearly 20 plays were presented to audiences at three venues, and every day the performances were packed out. The festival's first highlight was on Thursday, 24 March. The performance of Sen srebrny Salomei (Salome's Silver Dream) directed by Waldemar Zawodziński, dealing with 18th century Ukraine and complicated Polish-Ukrainian relations (the original play was written by a Romantic, Juliusz Słowacki). Bigda idzie (Here Comes Bigda), screened on the same day (as it was a TV Theater production) and directed by omnipresent Andrzej Wajda, proved to be the other highpoint of the week as it was a dynamic adaptation of a pre-war political novel which has much sense in the current Polish political situation.
Compiled by Wojtek Kość
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