no Value for FAVICON
24th Athens International Film Festival

Andrzej Zulawski: In Extremis

"It's not like in the movies or in books, where everything is precise, thought-out, organized, with a clear-cut goal. Everything's chaos, chance, pain, disorder."

The above quote, taken from "Mad Love", encompasses Andrzej Zulawski's cinematic universe and personal philosophy with surprising aptitude. Yet, through his radically disorganized version of reality, under the seemingly chaotic structure of his movies, hides a robust visual edifice, an absurdity constructed with surgical precision that captures the essence of the human condition more faithfully than sterile realism ever would.

Possibly because no other filmmaker has ever put his directorial virtuosity and every available film medium at the service of expressing emotions: raw, unconditional, domineering, self-destructive emotions. Passion, love, despair, jealousy, they're all captured on celluloid with manic energy and operatic grandeur, balancing between a rare visceral quality and overkill.

Lost souls on the cusp of the abyss, his heroes struggle with their imperfections, defy social conventions, clash with the system and battle their own passions and desires, just like he did. And the camera, like a living, breathing being, follows them into a vertiginous a free fall with no safety net.

A highly idiosyncratic case in the loins of world cinema, the unconventional Polish auteur walked the line between mainstream, art house and Avant-garde and never stopped breaking boundaries.

His filmography largely defies classification, despite the fact he probably tried his hand at every genre known to man - melodrama, horror film, science fiction, political allegory, gangster drama, period film and literary adaptations - transforming each and every one of them into something uniquely his own. Above and beyond cult, miles away from convention, his movies are a sui generis no-man's-land that can only be described in one world: Zulawski-esque!

Thanassis Patsavos

Φιλμογραφία / Filmography

2000 Fidelity
1996 Szamanka
1991 La Note Bleue
1989 Boris Godounov
1989 My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days
1987 On the Silver Globe
1985 L' Amour Braque
1984 The Public Woman
1981 Possession
1975 That Most Important Thing: Love
1972 The Devil 1971 The Third Part of the Night


      The Third Part of the Night

      The Third Part of the Night

      Based on his own father's experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland, who allowed lice to feed on his blood in the name of a German anti-typhus vaccine, Zulawski delivers a feverish, elliptical debut, turning a little-known aspect of WWII into an existential horror movie.

      The Devil

      The Devil

      The outcome is a monumental grand guignol opera, an extravaganza of choreographed violence and political allegory that sardonically alludes to the 1968 French student riots, despite taking place during the 18th Century Partition of Poland.

      That Most Important Thing: Love

      That Most Important Thing: Love

      One of the most painfully romantic art house hits of the 70s, "That Most Important Thing: Love" comes complete with a heartrending soundtrack by Georges Delerue and a career-defining performance by Romy Schneider.

      Possession

      Possession

      Censored in many countries, "Possession" quickly became the ultimate 80s cult item, while the enchanting Isabelle Adjani was rightfully awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and the César Awards for delivering one of the best female performances of all time.

      On the Silver Globe

      On the Silver Globe

      Βased on "The Lunar Trilogy" written by his uncle Jerzy Zulawski, Andrzej will embark on a labyrinthine allegorical saga oscillating between Andrei Tarkovsky's philosophical science fiction and Alejandro Jodorowsky's surrealist iconography.