|Alma mater||National Film School, Łódź|
(m. 1958;div. 1965)
(m. 1966;died 2014)
Jerzy Skolimowski (Polish: [jɛʐɨ skɔliˈmɔfskʲi] , born 5 May 1938) is a Polish film director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor. A graduate of the prestigious National Film School in Łódź, Skolimowski has directed more than twenty films since his 1960 début Oko wykol (The Menacing Eye). In 1967 he was awarded the Golden Bear prize for his film Le départ . Among his other notable films is Deep End (1970), starring Jane Asher and John Moulder Brown. He lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years where he painted in a figurative, expressionist mode and occasionally acted in films. He returned to Poland, and to film making as a writer and director, after a 17-year hiatus with Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights with Anna) in 2008. He received the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.
Skolimowski was born in Łódź, Poland, the son of Maria (née Postnikoff) and Stanisław Skolimowski, an architect.He often recognized indications in his work to a childhood ineradicably scarred by the War. As a small child he witnessed the brutalities of war, even having been rescued from the rubble of a bombed-out house in Warsaw. His father, a member of the Polish Resistance, was executed by the Nazis. His mother hid a Jewish family in the house and Skolimowski recalls being required to take candy from the Nazis to maintain appearances.
After the war, his mother became the cultural attaché of the Polish embassy in Prague. His fellow pupils at school in Poděbrady, a spa town near Prague, included future film-makers Miloš Forman and Ivan Passer, as well as Václav Havel.
Skolimowski was considered as a trouble maker at school as he was the origin of many pranks which angered the authorities. At college he studied ethnography, history and literature and took up boxing, which was also the subject of a feature-length documentary, his first significant film. Skolimowski's interest in jazz and association with composer Krzysztof Komeda brought him into contact with actor Zbigniew Cybulski and directors Andrzej Munk and Roman Polanski.
In his early twenties Skolimowski was already a writer, having published several books of poems, short stories and a play. Soon Skolimowski met Andrzej Wajda, the leading director of the then dominant 'Polish school' and twelve years his senior, who showed him a script for a film about youth written by Jerzy Andrzejewski, the author of the novel Ashes and Diamonds . Skolimowski was not impressed and dismissed the script. However, in response to a challenge by Wajda, he produced his own version which became a basis for the finished film, Innocent Sorcerers (1960), directed by Wajda with Skolimowski playing a boxer.
Skolimowski enrolled in the Łódź Film School with the intention of avoiding the long apprenticeship required before graduating to feature film direction. He used the film stock available to him for student exercises, and with initial advice from Andrzej Munk, he filmed over several years in such a way that the sequences were later clipped off and joined together into one piece of work. While scoring poorly in course work Skolimowski had a finished feature film by the end of the course.
Skolimowski then collaborated with Polański, writing the dialogue for the script of Knife in the Water (1962).
Between 1964 and 1984 he completed six semi-autobiographical feature films: Rysopis , Walkover , Barrier (1966), Hands Up! (completed 1967, released 1981), Moonlighting (GB 1982) and Success Is the Best Revenge , a segment in Dialóg and two other features Le Départ (1967) and Deep End based on his original screenplays. Barrier won Grand Prix at Bergamo International Film Festival. Le Départ won the Golden Bear at the 17th Berlin International Film Festival.
While living and working in many countries, he also completed another six relatively big budget productions, including four international co-productions, between 1970 and 1992 ( The Adventures of Gerard , King, Queen, Knave , The Shout , The Lightship, Torrents of Spring and Ferdydurke ), all distinctly bearing Skolimowski’s signature.
After Barrier he left Poland to make Le Départ in Belgium in French. According to him Le Départ was a light film rather than a comedy, "does not have the serious layers that I like in my work." Skolimowski returned to Poland to make Ręce do góry (Hands Up!), the third film of the Andrzej trilogy and the fourth of his Polish sextet. The anti-Stalinist themes of Hands Up! resulted in that film being banned and him being effectively expelled from then communist Poland.He then resettled in London, notably having Jimi Hendrix as a neighbor in the same building.
Between Hands Up! and his next feature, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Gerard (1970), Skolimowski contributed a story to a Czech-produced portmanteau film, Dialóg 20-40-60 (1968), in which three different directors (with Zbyněk Brynych and Peter Solan) each devised their own story using identical dialogue even though the central characters in each section are separated in age by twenty years. Skolimowski's segment, "The Twenty Year Olds", would seem to be an extension of Le départ with Jean-Pierre Léaud playing opposite Skolimowski's wife Joanna Szczerbic.
Deep End (1970) was Skolimowski's second non-Polish feature to be based on his own original screenplay. The movie with a coming of age storyline bears distinctive thematic similarities to Le Départ. Deep End was a promising film yet it was poorly handled by the studio. His films The Shout (1978) and Moonlighting (1982) became critical successes, with Moonlighting, made in the UK and starring Jeremy Irons, the fifth of his Polish sextet, being critically and commercially his most successful film.
The Lightship, Skolimowski’s first US production, was adapted from a novella by the German writer Siegfried Lenz and starring Robert Duvall and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Set on a US Coast Guard ship it was filmed in the North Sea. It is suspended between psychological duel with a doppelgänger theme and a pure performance piece within the stage-like confines of the lightship. However, even though receiving the best film award at the Venice Film Festival, The Lightship had only a very limited release.
Torrents of Spring (1989), adapted from a semi-autobiographical novella by Russian author Ivan Turgenev, was a big budget European co-production starring Timothy Hutton, Nastassja Kinski and Valeria Golino. It could be considered as Skolimowski's most impersonal 'generic' film, the only real departure from his expressed interest in making films only to please himself.
Skolimowski is also an actor, having appearances as Colonel Chaikov, a ruthless yet composed KGB colonel, in White Nights (1985) and Uncle Stepan, a Russian expatriate in Eastern Promises (2007), among other roles. In 2012, he appeared in The Avengers , as a villain interrogating Black Widow.
In 2008, he directed his first film after his return from America Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights with Anna).
In 2010, he directed Essential Killing starring Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner. The film won multiple awards including Special Jury Prize at the 67th Venice International Film Festival, Golden Ástor Award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival and the Golden Lions Award for Best Film at the Gdynia Film Festival. In 2015, he directed thriller film 11 Minues starring Richard Dormer and Andrzej Chyra. It was selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards.
In July 2016, at the Venice International Film Festival, Skolimowski was honoured with the Golden Lion for "lifetime achievement".
In 2020, it was announced he would direct his next film entitled Baltazar starring Sophia Loren. The Polish-Italian co-production is going to be a contemporary interpretation of the 1966 drama film Au Hasard Balthazar directed by Robert Bresson.
|1964||PWSFTviT||Best Director ( Identification Marks: None )|
|1965||Arnhem Film Festival||Grand Prix: Best Director ( Identification Marks: None and Walkover )|
|1965||PWSFTviT||Andrzej Munk Award ( Walkover )|
|1965||Bergamo Film Festival||Grand Prix ( Barrier )|
|1967||Berlin Film Festival||Golden Bear ( Le départ )|
|1967||Berlin Film Festival||Critics' Prize (UNICRIT Award) ( Le départ )|
|1968||Valladolid International Film Festival||Special Jury Prize ( Barrier )|
|1978||Cannes Film Festival||Special Jury Prize ( The Shout )|
|1981||Polish Film Festival||Journalists Award ( Hands Up! )|
|1982||Deutscher Filmpreis||Best Supporting Actor ( Die Fälschung )|
|1982||Cannes Film Festival||Best Screenplay ( Moonlighting )|
|1985||Venice Film Festival||Special Jury Prize ( The Lightship )|
|2008||Tokyo Film Festival||Special Jury Prize ( Four Nights with Anna )|
|2009||International Istanbul Film Festival||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2009||Lato Filmów: Warsaw Film and Art Festival||Best screenplay in the history of Polish cinema ( Knife in the Water )|
|2009||Polish Film Awards||Eagle: Best Director ( Four Nights with Anna )|
|2010||Venice Film Festival||Special Jury Prize ( Essential Killing )|
|2010||Venice Film Festival||CinemAvvenire Award: Best Film In Competition ( Essential Killing )|
|2010||Mar del Plata Film Festival||Golden Astor: Best Film ( Essential Killing )|
|2010||Mar del Plata Film Festival||ACCA Award: Best Film in the International Competition ( Essential Killing )|
|2010||Camerimage||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2010||Polish Film Awards||Eagle: Best Director ( Essential Killing )|
|2010||Polish Film Awards||Eagle: Best Film ( Essential Killing )|
|2011||Polish Film Festival||Best Director ( Essential Killing )|
|2011||Polish Film Festival||Golden Lions: Best Film ( Essential Killing )|
|2011||Sopot Film Festival||Grand Prix ( Essential Killing )|
|2012||Belgian Film Critics Association||Grand Prix ( Essential Killing )|
|2016||Venice Film Festival||Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award|
The history of cinema in Poland is almost as long as the history of cinematography, and it has universally recognized achievements, even though Polish films tend to be less commercially available than films from several other European nations.
Andrzej Witold Wajda was a Polish film and theatre director. Recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion and Honorary Golden Bear Awards, he was a prominent member of the "Polish Film School". He was known especially for his trilogy of war films consisting of A Generation (1955), Kanał (1957) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958).
Krzysztof Komeda was a Polish film music composer and jazz pianist. Perhaps best known for his work in film scores, Komeda wrote the scores for Roman Polanski’s films Knife in the Water (1962), Cul-de-sac (1966), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), and Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Komeda's album Astigmatic (1965) is often considered one of the most important European jazz albums. British critic Stuart Nicholson describes the album as "marking a shift away from the dominant American approach with the emergence of a specific European aesthetic."
Andrzej Teodor Seweryn is a Polish actor and director. One of the most successful Polish theatre actors, he starred in over 50 films, mostly in Poland, France and Germany. He is also one of only three non-French actors to be hired by the Paris-based Comédie-Française. He is currently serving as director general of the Polski Theatre in Warsaw. He has three children with three different wives: daughter Maria Seweryn with his first wife, Polish actress Krystyna Janda, and two sons, Yann-Baptiste and Maximilien.
Moonlighting is a 1982 British drama film written and directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It is set in the early 1980s at the time of the Solidarity protests in Poland. It stars Jeremy Irons as Nowak, a Polish builder leading a team working illegally in London.
The Leon Schiller National Film School is a Polish academy for future actors, directors, photographers, camera operators and television staff. It was founded on 8 March 1948 in Łódź (Lodz).
Ashes and Diamonds is a 1958 Polish drama film directed by Andrzej Wajda, based on the 1948 novel by Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski. Starring Zbigniew Cybulski and Ewa Krzyżewska, it completed Wajda's war films trilogy, following A Generation (1954) and Kanal (1956). The action of Ashes and Diamonds takes place in 1945, shortly after World War II. The main protagonist of the film, former Home Army soldier Maciek Chełmicki, is acting in the anti-Communist underground. Maciek receives an order to kill Szczuka, the local secretary of the Polish Workers' Party. Over time, Chełmicki increasingly doubts if his task is worth doing.
Elżbieta Justyna Czyżewska was a Polish actress active in both Poland and the United States.
Andrzej Kostenko is a Polish screenwriter, film director, actor, and cinematographer. He is known for his collaborations with Roman Polanski including some of Polanski's short films.
Paulo Branco is a Portuguese film producer.
The 2003 Polish Film Awards ran on March 15, 2003. It was the 5th edition of Polish Film Awards: Eagles.
Innocent Sorcerers is a 1960 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda.
The Gdynia Film Festival is an annual film festival first held in Gdańsk, now held in Gdynia, Poland.
Ręce do góry is a Polish drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It is the fourth of a series of semi-autobiographical films in which Skolimowski himself plays his alter ego, Andrzej Leszczyc. At the time it was banned in Poland, under the Communist regime, for 18 years because it depicted the Stalinist past.
Essential Killing is a 2010 Polish survival political thriller film co-written and directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and starring Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 67th Venice International Film Festival, Golden Ástor Award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival as well as the Golden Lions Award for Best Film at the Gdynia Film Festival.
Four Nights with Anna is a 2008 drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It stars Artur Steranko and Kinga Preis. It tells the story of a man who visits a woman in her sleep. The film had its world premiere as the opening film of the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival on 15 May 2008. It was released in Poland on 12 September 2008, and in France on 5 November 2008.
Identification Marks: None is a 1964 Polish drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It was the first feature film directed by Skolimowski, after the shorts Erotique, Little Hamlet, The Menacing Eye, Boxing and Your Money or Your Life.
Andrzej Leszczyc is a fictional character created and performed by Jerzy Skolimowski. He appears in three Skolimowski's early movies: Identification Marks: None, Walkover and Hands Up!.
Walkover is a 1965 Polish drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It is the second feature film directed by Skolimowski, and again features his alter ego, Andrzej Leszczyc, whose story is continued from the film Rysopis.
11 Minutes is a 2015 thriller film written and directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It stars Richard Dormer, Paulina Chapko, Wojciech Mecwaldowski, Andrzej Chyra, Dawid Ogrodnik, Agata Buzek, Piotr Glowacki, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Ifi Ude, Jan Nowicki, Anna Maria Buczek, and Lukasz Sikora. Set in Warsaw, it tells the story of multiple people's lives over the course of eleven minutes in a single day. The film had its world premiere in the Competition section at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival on 9 September 2015. It was selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jerzy Skolimowski .|