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"A haunting, austere parable that has been directed with assurance by Lech Majewski who has a flair for starkly poetic compositions. His film retains its spare, arresting visual style throughout.”
 
– Janet Maslin
The New York Times
 

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The Films of Lech Majewski
A Touring Exhibition

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  International Film Circuit is pleased to present seven feature films in new 35mm prints by acclaimed artist, poet, and filmmaker, Lech Majewski. Not nearly as well known as he should be outside his native Poland, Majewski has produced one astounding film after another. The cinematography is formally exquisite and the narratives are closer to dreamwork than mere stories. Discover Lech Majewski!
 
     
 

GLASS LIPS, 2007, Poland.
With Patryk Czajka, Grzegorz Przybyl.
A young poet, whose violent father’s shadow looms over him, recalls traumatic episodes from his life while locked away in an asylum. Majewski originally presented this work as a gallery installation entitled Blood of a Poet, composed of thirty-three video art pieces exhibited on multiple screens. Glass Lips, a narrative feature film, is drawn from these thirty-three elements. 97 min.
An earlier compilation of these video art pieces was presented as part of the Lech Majewski retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in May 2006, under the title Blood of a Poet.

     
 
 

GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, 2004, Great Britain/Italy.
Cinematography by Lech Majewski. Music by Majewski, Jozef Skrzek. With Claudine Spiteri, Chris Nightingale.
In this intense tale of passion and mortality, a beautiful but dying London art historian, obsessed with Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, spends her last months in Venice with her lover. In English. 103 min.

Grand Prix 2004 Rome International Film Festival

"A luminous, highly erotic treatise on art, love and death."
-- Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

"Achingly gorgeous, not least because of Claudine Spiteri's disarmingly straightforward performance. The movie's philosophy is lucid and humane: Life is precious because it is short."
-- R. Emmet Sweeney, The Village Voice

"Stunning visuals and a sizzling performance by Claudine Spiteri: You're going to love this film and run out to see everything Majewski has directed."
-- V.A. Musetto New York Post

"A virtuoso tale of intense love full of passion and tenderness."
-- Piero Zanotto, Il Gazzettino Venezia

"Elegant…digital video riff on Death in Venice.”
-- Nathan Lee, The New York Times

     
 
 

ANGELUS, 2000, Poland.
Cowritten by Bronislaw Maj, Ireneusz Siwinski. Music by Majewski, Jozef Skrzek. With Jan Siodlaczek, Pawel Steinert.
A painterly eye and dark humor inform this Silesian tale of a young male virgin who must be sacrificed to save the world. Majewski portrays a community responding to World War II and Stalinism with primitive metaphysics. 103 min.

Grand Prix, Camerimage, 2001
Audience Award, Miami Film Festival, 2002
Prix Federico Fellini, 2002

"When it isn't exciting the eye with its precise, painterly imagery, Lech Majewski's 'Angelus' amuses in a wry, absurdist fashion… The film's mode of setting up fantastically designed and lensed tableaux shots, has a nearly hallucinating impact on the eye… There's a purified aura of beauty in 'Angelus' that creates a sometimes stunning sense of the imagination overcoming all obstacles." -- Robert Koehler, Variety

"Angelus is a fascinating film that recalls the work of Tarkovsky, while standing alone as a unique expression of Majewski's creative impulse. It's an otherworldly film, its images meticulously composed in a vivid, painterly style… The result is a film of uncommon beauty, celebrating the pursuit of art and enlightenment in all its myriad forms." -- Darryl Macdonald, Seattle International Film Festival

     
 
 

WOJACZEK, 1999, Poland.
The last days of Rafal Wojaczek, a rebelious poet who died prematurely in his twenties like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jim Morrison. Fueled by his self-destructive life, his poetry made a lasting impression on generations of Poles. He drank and fought and walked through windows. Confronting death on a daily basis, he tried to tame it. Loved by women, he cared for no one, not even himself, living desperado-style only for poetry. Conscious of the need for myth in the mythless reality of communist Poland, he burned his life as an offering. 89 min.

New Directors/New Films
Rotterdam Film Festival
Berlin Film Festival
London Film Festival
Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Los Angeles Film Festival

"Lech Majewski's 'Wojaczek' is a virtuoso achievement!"
-- Doris Meirhenrich, Berlinale

"Just as Wojaczek's nihilism has a core of passionate wit, so too does the movie. Gorgeously grim black and white, Majewski's camerawork has an almost classical austerity."
-- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Lech Majewski's 'Wojaczek' creates a new style for a biopic - much more powerful and incisive than the traditional one."
-- Kerstin Decker, Der Tagesspiegel

"Majewski’s haunting new film, compounded by the striking visual style - Wojaczek can linger on for months after seeing the film only once."
-- Ray Privett, Cinema Scope USA

"Black-and-white elegance… Continually laugh-out-loud biopic."

-- J. Hoberman, Village Voice

     
 
 

THE ROE’S ROOM, 1997, Poland.
Art direction by Lech Majewski. Music by Majewski and Jozef Skrzek. With Rafal Olbrychski, Elzbieta Mazur.
An autobiographical film opera about a young poet and countertenor, his parents, and the apartment in which they live. The poet’s sensitivity filters visions of the apartment as it is slowly devoured by nature. In summer, the floor becomes overgrown with grass, leaves of plaster fall in autumn, and in winter, the blizzard comes out of the refrigerator. The Roe’s Room is a story of life and death. Nature, the final victor, will eventually devour the walls, the tables and the shelves.
Sung in Polish w/Eng st. 90 min. Video Formats Only

"Disturbing and visionary. The Roe’s Room is a masterpiece.”
– Carlo Montanaro, La Nuova di Venezia

"A visionary and musical poem. A profound, subtle and very original movie.” – Claude Chamberlain, Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema

"Majewski’s normal multi-tasking takes on even greater dimensions in his absolutely singular autobiographical film opera. Writing (libretto and music), directing and designing this often limpidly beautiful cycle of life parable, he conjures some remarkable images out of an extremely contained spatial and thematic environment… One of a kind.”
– Gareth Evans, Time Out London

"There is a strange, entrancing beauty to the images and music in The Roe’s Room…Majewski creates striking visual tableaux that possess a memorable, haunting quality.” -- Brendan Kelly, Variety

     
 
 

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HARRY, 1992. USA.
With Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Rubin, Rita Tushingham. Starring Viggo Mortensen before he was celebrated, this maverick allegory takes place, according to Majewski, when “the Pacific has dried up and California has become a desert. A couple try to make the best of it but life is hard; even sex hurts. The only person who enjoys himself is Harry, the tax collector.” 88 min. In English.

Toronto Film Festival
Chicago Film Festival

"This highly visual, beautifully shot film functions as a metaphor of modern discontent. As in a poem, we enter a dreamlike world where our imagination is given free rein. Majewski exposes a malaise that invests today’s world boldly juxtaposing domestic strife against a vast allegorical canvas that embraces the political and the religious. Gospel According to Harry is a striking film, where the director’s maverick vision creates a metaphor for our times against a barren landscape.”
-- Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival, September 1994

     
 
  THE KNIGHT (RYCERZ), 1980. Poland.
With Piotr Skarga, Daniel Olbrychski. A haunting, austere ballad about a knight’s quest for a gold-stringed harp whose sound is said to bring peace and harmony. The film’s imagery is inspired by medieval icons. 81 min.

New York Film Festival
London Film Festival
Los Angeles Film Festival

"A haunting, austere parable that has been directed with assurance by Lech Majewski who has a flair for starkly poetic compositions. His film retains its spare, arresting visual style throughout.” -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Lech Majewski’s beautiful, mystical film, The Knight, has rich nightmarish images inspired by 13th century icons.”

-- Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Lech Majewski, a Polish artist who works internationally, is known for the films and videos he writes, directs, and shoots, and for his original scores. A graduate of the Lodz Film School, Majewski is also a poet, painter, and stage director celebrated for opera and theatrical events. His stylized moving-image works eschew language in favor of music and fantastically expressive landscapes, both domestic and topographical. His imaginative features are distinguished by a unique sensibility hovering not only between the absurd and the metaphysical, but also the beautiful and the profane. All films are written and directed by Majewski. In Polish with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.
(Text is from the MOMA catalog. The MOMA program was organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film and Media, Museum of Modern Art, NYC)

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