Letting the side down: Polish film director Jerzy Skolimowski, whose films feature at this month's Kinoteka Polish Film Festival
Letting the side down: Polish film director Jerzy Skolimowski, whose films feature at this month’s Kinoteka Polish Film Festival

The Kinoteka Film Festival gets underway this month, with East London venues set to screen work by some of Poland’s most renowned filmmakers.

A retrospective of the films of Jerzy Skolimowski will be held at the Barbican.

Skolimowski is a maverick filmmaker who has worked as a director, writer and actor for over 50 years, and is regarded as one of Polish cinema’s most iconic figures.

For the opening gala on 7 April, Skolimowski will be there in person to introduce his new film 11 Minutes, which focuses on 11 minutes in the lives of a variety of characters whose paths cross as they race towards an unexpected finale.

The film, described as an “inventive metaphor for our modern hectic lives driven by blind chance”, will be followed by an onstage question and answer session with the director.

Over the month the Barbican will be showing more films from Skolimowski’s extensive back catalogue, including rarely screened titles such as 1960s psychological drama Barrier (with an introduction by Skolimowski), Deep End, a comedy-drama about obsession, and the 1982 film Moonlighting starring Jeremy Irons, which was awarded Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Shoreditch-based Close-Up Cinema will be hosting festival films too, as part of their Masters of Polish Cinema season. These include a screening of Skolimowski’s loose trilogy featuring his on-screen alter ego Andrzej Leszczyc: the films Identification Marks: None, Walkover and Hands Up!

The boutique cinema is also planning to show three early psychological thrillers by Roman Polanski: his Skolimowski-scripted debut Knife in the Water; the controversial, mind-bending exploration of psychosis, Repulsion; and the paranoiac ménage-à-trois Cul-de-sac.

Then later in the month the cinema will show Pawel Pawlikowski’s debut feature, Ida, the Oscar-winning film that delves through 20th century Polish history, scripted by East London resident Rebecca Lenkiewicz.


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