Agnes Janich

Cinema reigns in Wroclaw, Gazeta Wyborcza

10th ENH: Cinema Reigns in Wroclaw, again.

 Ewa Orczykowska

 Gazeta Wyborcza

 July 21st 2010


There won't be any red carpets or celebrity names on the posters. Surely there'll be no popcorn or a luminous feast for celebrities. There'll be 500 films, 22 concerts, 6 shows and an opera.


The International Film Festival Era New Horizons doesn't need publicity. 10 years since its inception and 4 years after moving it from Cieszyn to Wroclaw, it hoards crowds from all over the country - last year they numbered 122 thousand.


Era New Horizons is about films that won't land in multiplexes and might not land in Poland at all. For 11 days, Wroclaw turns into a laboratory of avantgarde, artistic, thought-provoking cinema, far removed from relaxing and mind-bubbling romantic comedies.


Among the 500 festivals' titles, there'll be some a bit more popular, though. The festival will be inaugurated by the French. Today at 6pm in Capitol - the Polish premiere of Cannes Grand Prix winner, Xavier Beauvois, Of Gods and people. The second French film of the eve will be Entering No-man's Land by Gaspar Noe, the bad boy of French cinema. The night will be welcomed by a concert of Faith No More's Mike Patton acting an Italian of the 50s and 60s.


Friday will see the opening of the festivals yearly events - 3 film contests ( for international, Polish and art-related films ), focus on Turkey, a retrospective of Jean-Luc Godard, the Quay brothers, Laura Mulvey, Wojciech Jerzy Has and Daniel Szczechura. The grand finale of the festival will be Michel van der Aa's opera to the books of Fernando Pessoa, narrated by Klaus Maria Brandauer.


The daily screenings in the Main Square will be free, just like every year. A thousand seats are prepared by the fountain. Collateral exhibitions are also free of charge - among them a public screening of Krzysztof Wodiczko's Veteran's Flame and Agnes Janich's visual tale of the Annihilation in the White Stork Synagogue. Some of the shows, eg.that of the Quay brothers, will be on view until the end of August.


Starting tomorrow, crowds of fans will people the city. They will watch a few films a day. Some might see even 50 films, or more if one counts the short animations too. Capitol, Helios and the NOT chamber of the Warszawa cinema will all open their doors to fans. Not all of them are deadly determined, though. I will only attend 6 screenings this weekend, says Mariusz from Wroclaw. 300zls for a pass is a lot. The eves will bring the Main Square screenings, Arsenal concerts ( featuring Pink Freud, OSTR and Wojciech Waglewski ). Tickets can be reserved online to avoid standing in lines.


The best international film of the festival will get a Grand Prix and a prize of 20,000eu. 14 productions will fight over the audience's main prize and the FIPRESCI championship - this year for the first time.

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich