06.03.2021 - 31.03.2022
Four years later, the director took his cameras into the atelier of the greatest Polish sculptor, Xawery Dunikowski, to document the artist’s work. Towards the Sun (Idę do słońca, 1955) was an innovative documentary in that it showed selected sculptures in various spaces, e.g. at the seaside. Dunikowski never says a word in it. Years later, Andrzej Wajda regretted not having portrayed the sculptor by giving him an opportunity to speak.
The Andrzej Wajda Archive holds some materials relating to these two productions, among them the following:
Some of the relevant materials in the Andrzej Wajda Archive include:
In early 1973, Wajda’s film adaptation of The Wedding premiered at the Słowacki Theatre in Krakow. Initially, the director had intended to film a modernized version of Stanisław Wyspiański’s play in collaboration with Jerzy Andrzejewski. A memento of that idea is the surviving 1963 movie synopsis by Andrzej Kijowski (who later wrote the script for the film discussed here). Following the frustrated attempts at adjusting the play to the socio-political realities of People’s Poland, Wajda decided to work with Wyspiański’s original text. He invited actors that he had known from his earlier films to join his production: Daniel Olbrychski (as the Groom), Wojciech Pszoniak (in a dual role as the Journalist and Stańczyk), and Andrzej Łapicki (as the Poet). The role of the Bride was given to Ewa Ziętek, a student at Krakow’s Theatre School. Witold Sobociński was responsible for the cinematography and gained acclaim for his impressive footage that gave the viewer a feeling of actually taking part in the wedding reception. The music was written by Stanisław Radwan while Krystyna Zachwatowicz designed the costumes. Czesław Niemen sang the song for the hypnotic final dance scene.
We have selected the following items from the Andrzej Wajda Archive for the exhibition:
The Andrzej Wajda Archive contains a considerable quantity of materials relating to The Birch Wood, for example:
In 2009 Andrzej Wajda concluded his Iwaszkiewicz trilogy with Sweet Rush. While he had made evident references to Jacek Malczewski’s pictures in The Birch Wood, here he visually interpreted paintings by the American artist Edward Hopper. Being decidedly too short for a feature film, Iwaszkiewicz’s story was complemented with Krystyna Janda’s monologue on the suffering of her recently deceased husband, the prominent cinematographer Edward Kłosiński, and a short story by Sándor Márai, ‘Rendelés előtt’ as well as self-referential parts on making the film. Sweet Rush is dedicated to Edward Kłosiński. The film was shot on location in Grudziądz.
We have chosen the following of the surviving archival materials for the exhibition:
The Maids of Wilko (1979) is another adaptation of a piece by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, a homage to the writer. The film tells the story of Wiktor, who is going through a crisis in the aftermath of his friend’s death and decides to take a rest at his uncle’s farmstead in Rożki, near the manor of Wilko. His return to the place of his youth rekindles memories of it and the people he met there fifteen years previously. The manor is inhabited by several sisters, all of whom used to have a crush on Wiktor (great performances by Stanisława Celińska, Anna Seniuk, Christine Pascal, and Krystyna Zachwatowicz).
A Polish-French co-production, the film was nominated for the Academy Award in the foreign language category and received the Special Award of the Jury during the Polish Film Festival in Gdańsk. Andrzej Wajda used Karol Szymanowski’s Songs from Kurpie as the theme music in the film.
Some of the relevant materials preserved in the Andrzej Wajda Archive include:
Relevant items in the Andrzej Wajda Archive include for example:
The Andrzej Wajda Archive holds various materials created during the making of this film, such as:
The film received six nominations for the Polish Film Awards: Eagles, for best actor, best set design, and best costume design, among other categories. Walesa. Man of Hope was also the Polish submission for the Oscars in 2013.
Man of Iron met with an enthusiastic reception abroad, receiving the Palme d'Or at Cannes and an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film in 1982.
The Andrzej Wajda Archive contains a sizeable collection of materials relating to the making of this film, notably:
Towards the end of his life, Andrzej Wajda said in an interview with reference to Man of Marble: ‘This is the best, the most original script I’ve had at my disposal in my whole long life.’ Wajda followed up on the story of the Birkut family five years later in the film Man of Iron.
The Wajdas often visited their relations in Kraków. One of these trips was well documented: over a dozen photographs have survived, showing Andrzej Wajda and his family strolling around the Old Town and exploring the nooks and narrow streets of the historic city. Andrzej had a unique rapport with his father, whom he accompanied in his travels around the country, studying its history. Wajda senior took his teenage son to art exhibitions, introduced him to fine society, and encouraged him to seek his own path in life. Objects from those school years that have survived to our times include certificates and class photos, but perhaps the most crucial memento from the period is a small friendship book bound in wood, with pro memoriam entries by teachers and schoolmates.
This year’s celebrations of Andrzej Wajda’s 95th birthday provide an opportunity to offer a broader insight into the biography of this great cinema artist, but also prominent theatre director, co-writer of film scripts, civic and social activist, lover of literature, and last but not least, good friend. As with all of us, his story begins with his childhood.