Prof. Lewinski returns!

written and directed by Pawel Kuczynski

On Saturday we completed a scene for the next “philosophical adventure” of professor Lewinsky. The shoot had a quite elaborate background: floating dragons, laser lights and explosions. My miniscule yet wonderfully capable crew took advantage of a powerful sight and sound night extravaganza organized by "Teatr Groteska" in Cracow. Thanks to the theater kind permission we could be in the right spot on the right time to film our scene. I am quite happy with the results and hope that from now on professor Lewinsky will be more “public friendly” and commercial in his film appearances.

And yes, the figure on the right side of the frame is myself. Due to production logistics I have put myself into the story as a filmmaker/journalist investigating a strange behavior of the professor and his cute female assistant. This means that not only does prof. Lewinski return but he also brings with him his very own opponent, who actually writes the entire story.

Credits: The shot above by Joanna Urbaniec. Paweł Soja operated the second camera. Grzegorz Juras became prof. Lewinski and Małgorzata Makosz his lovely assistant. Andrzej Robak organized the shoot. To be continued.


The “what” distinctions

“Poste Restante”
written, directed by Marcel Łoziński
camera by Jacek Petrycki

The latest by Marcel Łoziński got him the 2009 European Film Award for best short film. The film is a 14 min. tale about a letter addressed to God and what happens to it at the Undeliverable Letters Department of the Post Office.

What follows is from the interview he gave Joanna Sławińska in the 1/2010 issue of the SFP Film Magazine:

Łoziński (Oscar nomination for “89mm to Europe”) believes in extensive documentation. Unlike most who say “know what you’re saying”, he pushes it further. The documentation is essential in order to be able to know the following:

what one wants to say,

about what one wants to say it,

why one wants to say it,

how one wants to say it.

Once the documentation is thoroughly done, due to the production logistics he “compresses reality”. By provoking, stimulating what’s already there or planting external elements into the photographed scenes he brings about that which he knows is already there (which, with patience and lots of time and money would eventually reveal itself naturally)

At the same time he advocates that there is no objective truth and that every camera set up is subjective by its very nature.


Nolan, Hitch and Michael Bay

written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Somebody wrote that Nolan’s problem is that his dreams are directed by Michael Bay. I disagree. Were his dreams directed by Michael Bay “Inception” would be much more fun. Yes, I think Michael Bay, together with Steven Spielberg, are the best showmen of the Hollywood raze-dazzle.

Pseudo-psychological or pseudo-intellectual pretenses are grave sins of storytelling. A few truly spectacular shots and fantastic visual concepts can’t hide them. (Whoever came up with the city folding upon itself shot is a genius! If for only one shot.)

True that while watching the flick I though “Amazing that he gets away with such shallow shit! Anybody else would fall flat on his face and die. Yet, this guy keeps the story moving. That’s an impressive skill. Still, I felt cheated and bored by the overall set up. Boring characters played by boring actors inside a half baked story. All spiced up by mountains of dollars and super talented technicians.

While Nolan toils hard, Michael Bay kicks ass with gusto and ecstasy of dealing with the medium. He truly pushes the envelope in rhythm, speed, visual elegance. That’s why I love his directing. Nolan plays it both ways, tries to be hip and profound. Ends up neither.

Where is Hitch in all of that? Well, coming back from the screening I felt “dirtied”, so I pulled out “The Secret Agent”. Great characters, great wit, palpable pleasure of storytelling. All jumped out of the screen and restored my faith in the medium.

I think that Hitch and Bay have fun when telling their stories. Nolan flexes his muscles and strains. That’s a big difference.