Ep #9 - Polish Arthouse Cinema in the 60s

The Saragossa Manuscript  ( 1965 )

The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)


Poland has produced countless under-seen masterpieces since the rise of the Łódź Film School in the ‘50s. If you don’t believe us, just ask Martin Scorsese, who lent his name and energy to a 21-film restoration project because he loves Polish movies so much.

Part of the reason Polish cinema remains relatively unknown is that during the ‘60s, the government kept careful watch on the content and distribution of films; it squashed any portrayals of youthful discontent and personal expression that could be construed as critical of the state. As a result, Poland didn’t have a “New Wave” per se, but behind that Iron Curtain they were still making some mighty fine films.

In this episode, Bart & Jenna catch you up on some of Poland’s greatest cinematic treasures from the ‘60s–including early films from writers and directors who went on to have international success.

The following films are discussed:

Innocent Sorcerers (1960)
Niewinni czarodzieje
Directed by Andrzej Wajda
Starring Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska

Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)
Matka Joanna od Aniołów
Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Starring Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska

Knife in the Water (1962)
Nóz w wodzie
Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz

Passenger (1963)
Directed by Andrzej Munk. Finished by Witold Lesiewicz
Starring Aleksandra Slaska, Anna Ciepielewska, Jan Kreczmar

The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)
Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie
Directed by Wojciech Has
Starring Zbigniew Cybulski, Iga Cembrzynska, Elzbieta Czyzewska

Barrier (1966)
Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
Starring Joanna Szczerbic, Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Lomnicki

The Structure of Crystals (1969)
Struktura kryształu
Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi
Starring Barbara Wrzesinska, Jan Myslowicz, Andrzej Zarnecki