by Caitlin Moore
A colourful display of love, life, and absurdity the FASE 22 Polish Animation screening event provides an intriguing introduction into the world of Polish animation. Featuring a diverse programme that showcases a wide range of animation techniques from hand painted film to CGI it has something for everyone. Opening with the visually stunning Red and Black is the perfect start to an engaging series of films. The dark and mysterious scenes of The Cathedral followed by Labrinth’s surrealism and the entrancing rhythm of Tango will feed your curiosity with charming characters. Drawing to a close with the dramatic love story of Kizi Mizi this collection of films is sure to leave you captivated and with a new-found appreciation for storytelling and animation.
by Hao Zheng
Polish animation, like Polish literature, film and graphic design, constitutes a symbol of Polish culture. Although there is no classic animation image like Disney in the United States in Poland, Polish animation is unique in the world animation history with its long history and advanced aesthetics. It pays attention to artistry, narration and concept, audience orientation and personal expression, but it is rare in other countries. Many animations, including ‘Red and Black’, ‘Tango’, ‘Kizi Mizi’, ‘The Cathedral’ and ‘Labyrinth’, were selected for exhibition in the event ‘Polish Animation’ held by FASE. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the scene to watch it, but I watched all the animations in this event list online, and I had many feelings, among which Witold’s ‘Red and black’ was the most impressive one.
Before watching these animations, I did research, and learned that there are two kinds of animations in Poland, one is TV animation, which is broadcast to the audience on TV. This kind of animation didn’t have a great development from 1990s to the beginning of the century, but it has accelerated in recent years. There is also the independent animation, which is mainly shown to the audience through these activities of film festivals (Pengpai, 2022). At present, there are more than 10,000 different film festivals around the world. In various countries, more than half of the film festivals will have animation display units or short film broadcasting activities, and these animations meet the audience through these channels (Pengpai, 2022).
After watching Witold’s ‘Red and Black’, I was impressed by the director’s superb painting skills and creative story telling. The red and black colours in the animation constitute the basic images of the human hero and the bull, and the director tells a brief “Matador” work scene in 6 minutes. Through the constantly changing lens and “camera position”, this animation presents the film-level composition and shooting level in the 1960s. What impresses me most is the picture ofthe ‘Black Bull and Red Rose’.
When the whole scene of “bullfighting” is dramatically reversed and the bull gets the audience’s roses, the matador outside is robbed of the limelight by the bull, which is a very funny thing. Therefore, it can be seen that an animation made by Witold is actually made for everyone, not just children or adults. Most of his animations have serious themes. Most children, as long as they are not very young children, like this animation very much. It is also an animation drawn directly on film.
In addition, I think the pictures of Zbigniew’s ‘tango’ and Tomasz’s ‘the Catholic’ are very beautiful and have great aesthetic significance. When watching these animations, I feel that I am watching a documentary film, and I believe that the audience watching the FASE event is more touched.
Pengpai. (2022). ‘One Hundred Years of Polish Animation | Looking for the Origin of “Love Van Gogh”_The Paper_The Paper’ [波兰动画百年｜寻找《至爱梵高》的源头_有戏_澎湃新闻-The Paper]. Retrieved 31 January 2022, from http://m.thepaper.cn/kuaibao_detail.jsp?contid=1746781&from=kuaibao
by Isabella Bazoni
‘Polish Animation’ was one of the eight screening events composing FASE22, a series of interlinked screen events organised by the third-year students of the BA (Hons) Film and Screen Studies course at London College of Communication. I went into this event with absolutely zero knowledge of Polish animation and very little knowledge of animation in general, so I did not know what to expect. Coming out of it, a couple of hours later, I felt like I had just witnessed something absolutely beautiful. Each film composing the screening brought something different to it, giving the audience a glimpse of what I assume to be an enormously varied cinematic world. The balance between newer films and older ones was perfect, culminating in a very recent short (Kizi Mizi, 2007) with a nostalgic, melancholic aesthetic that stuck with me for days after the event. Unfortunately, due to tight scheduling and technical issues, it wasn’t possible to conclude the event with the Q&A with filmmaker Mariusz Wilczyński (director of Kizi Mizi). Still, I nevertheless felt like I attended a complete, well-rounded event. In terms of accessibility, I think the event was well organised, with clear signage and many people to ask for information. However, I would have personally liked to receive a leaflet or a flyer with the event programme at the entrance, to have something to bring home if I wanted to go back to the shorts. Still, the website is very clear to navigate and has all the information I need about this and other events. Overall it was an event I really enjoyed attending, and every film I saw has sparked, in its own way, something inside me, surprising me in the best way possible.
Do You Mind?
by Victoria Gogolinski
On the 28th of February, students from London College of Communication opened FASE 22, a unique festival that brings a range of international screenings to the public, from Bulgarian cinema to David Lynch’s short films.
One of the first events that I attended was ‘Do You Mind?’ that touched on the topic of mindfulness and digital detoxing. The screening was held in a black box filled with yoga mats and mood lighting and began with a guided meditation designed to calm and prepare for the carefully curated screening that opened with Carve Up by Jenny Brady. This was followed by Throw them Up and Let Them Sing by Helen Petts and finished with Aspect by Emily Richardson.The first showing, Carve Up, brought visuals of nature and the environment, which was accompanied by an unsettling yet soothing audio. Following this stimulating video, the audience was shown Helen Petts film, where viewers were taken on a journey of landscapes and experimental sounds that combined to tell the story of a Kurt Shwitzers escape from Nazi Germany to the Lake District in England. Unlike anything I’ve seen before, this film was a blend of vibrant and still life and gave an insight into the aim of the event. The screening wrapped up with Aspect, which was equally as experimental as the previous projects, however it contrasted in its expressive colors and narration. As the film ended, we were again led through a meditation session where, as viewers, we had the chance to reflect on what had been screened.
The organizers expressed their desire for us to feel calm and inspired after this screening. Even though the films and setting would not be my usual choice, the delivery and curation was clearly well thought through and allowed for a truly unique experience. As was mentioned in the description of the event, the organizers aimed to ‘raise awareness of and deconstruct common habits of the digital age that we are living in and suggest the benefits of reducing, limiting, improving or even terminating time spent online’, and this I must say, was delivered to the letter.
One Pound Super Short Film Festival
by Anete Vintisa
How can 47 films be fit into an hour-long screening event? The One Pound Super Short Film Festival (One Pound Festival for short) succeeded to do just that while seeking to remove the elitist barriers surrounding film festivals. With high entrance fees and standards of entry fit for seasoned professionals, the film festival industry can be an intimidating and hostile space for those wanting to practice their talent and try out their luck. As the title suggests, the One Pound Festival was a breath of fresh air combining a wide array of submissions with a one-pound entrance fee mirroring the length of each film.
Alongside ensuring its accessibility, the option to view the event online enabled a larger audience including its diverse body of artists. This was precisely the case for the creator of the winning film titled Lucky Dumplings – a charming animation of two hungry dumplings accompanied by humorous diegetic sound. Despite attending the event online, I did not feel forgotten. Everything from the soothing ambient music before the event to the smooth flow of the livestream with well-planned elements like the QR code that appeared on the screen during voting made me forget I was viewing the screening online.
One Pound Super Short Film Festival
The One Pound Super Short Film Festival presented by FASE22 was a joy to experience. This screening event accepted any film as long as it was under one minute which resulted in an extremely broad range of films in the program. This lack of criteria for the films allowed the audience to experience over 50 films from many genres, while still avoiding the risk of inundating the audience due to how short the films were. The unique premise of the festival was that the £1 donated by the filmmakers would accumulate to become the cash prize that one person would win at the end of the screening. This resulted in an exciting experience where the more people who submitted films meant the higher the cash prize but also the more people to beat. The winner of the film festival was then decided by the audience via online survey. This democratic approach granted the audience a real chance to contribute to the festival besides attending. All in all this event brought to us by FASE22 was a delight and demonstrated a creative and interactive approach to screening events.