Archive for December, 2012

Being popular Polish film-maker Wojciech Marczewski’s son helped Filip to share his childhood with cinema. It taught him to watch around and find stories from everyday life. It showed him how personal and social life could be touched by cinema. But it did nothing to help him enter the industry.
Filip’s walk into cinema was alone. As a student, he tried avoiding the medium and took up literature instead. But the call of cinema was too hard to resist. “I finally decided to take it up and asked my father. He warned me that it isn’t going to be easy,” he says.
And it wasn’t. The young director worked on advertisements for a living. He then graduated to making short films and documentaries. Some of his short films such as Bieda and Ziemia won him acclaim but it was Melodrama, which got nominated in the students’ Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2006, that got him noticed. “It is this move that I developed into my first feature film, Shameless,” he says.
Shameless was screened at the IFFK 2012 last week to a packed audience and an inspiring response. “It was received well at the Mumbai fest and at Karlovy Vary, where it premiered,” Filip says. It is slated to be screened at the Kochi and Chennai International film festivals.
The movie deals with three themes, which entwine to portray stark social and personal realities. It shows the incestuous feelings that an 18-year-old boy have for his older sister, a beautiful woman who is in love with a right-wing politician.
The incest part, though a beaten topic in cinema, is toned down in Shameless to focus on the emotions and not on the persons or the social milieu. Also showcased is the raw deal gypsy community gets from European society. But looming large in the film is the issue of neo Nazism, which according to the director, is growing to dangerous proportions in Europe.
Despite this, the movie is far from political, as the director believes in focusing on the emotions that lead to social or personal outcomes — in this case, incest, racism or even social stigma towards fringe communities.
“I wanted to focus especially on the problem of the neo Nazis, who are no longer the skinheads we take them to be, but are in the dignified administrative sphere as well-dressed, polished individuals who go about with their philosophy in a sophisticated manner. To me, they are a dangerous lot,” he says.
Filip faced criticism for Shameless, from both right and left ideologues. “While some questioned me for projecting the baddie in the movie (played by his brother, Maciej Marczewski) as a neo Nazi, the left thinkers felt I should have been a harsher critic of fascist thoughts. But my intention is not to focus on the outside, but get into the minds and zoom into what leads to the outside,” he says.
Filip is happy with the outcome of Shameless, which he is planning to show at festivals in Chennai and Bangalore. “It is my first time in India,” he adds. He would get back to Poland for Christmas to his son and wife, and of course to another term of film-making.
Ask him about his next project, and he evades. Cinema, his childhood friend, demands focus and he probably does not want to lose it in words.


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