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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Well, I've ordered from them, so it can't have been too outrageous. I suspect it was probably on a par with Merlin, though their packaging isn't as good - one of my Polish Film School boxes got squished. As Merlin customers know, their packaging could survive being crushed by a tank and would come up with barely a scratch.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:35 am 

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Michael,

I want to order the Marcel Lozinski box set from Merlin but they don't have it in stock. In your experience, do Merlin tend to re-supply out-of-stock PWAs or are there some titles they don't re-stock or never get in the first place because they don't want to sell them? It's just that if there is a chance, I would rather wait for Merlin to re-stock it; I am reluctant to use the other e-tailers.

Any word on Pawel Lozinski box set?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:12 pm 
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I've never had to deal with Merlin being out of stock, but I generally order stuff when it's relatively new, so the question hasn't arisen - but I think there are some anecdotes elsewhere in this thread that might be useful.

As for Pawel Łożinski, I haven't seen it yet - I'm waiting for the Daniel Szczechura disc to become available before ordering.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:14 pm 
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I took a cursory peak at this thread, and I desperately want some of those animation discs. Just like I desperately wanted Unseen Cinema, Kino's Edison box, and the NFB's Michel Brault box, and haven't touched them yet, so I can scarcely justify a purchase right now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:11 pm 
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The Daniel Szczecura disc is now available from Merlin.

There's also a new DVD announcement, but I've only just spotted it and have no time to do a precis. Later tonight, hopefully.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:00 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
There's also a new DVD announcement...


It's a 2 DVD box containing movies that deal with the gradual opening of polish Socialism to Consumeris during the 1970s. It contains one feature film, one documentary short and several "artistic" shorts.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:14 am 
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Very glad to see that Bogdan Dziworski has been represented at last. It looks like his short on Ski-ing is included and it's a shame that 'Hockey' didn't make the cut. A lazy comparison would be Kieslowski in documentary mode with Tatiesque tendencies, particularly in the sound design.
His circus film 'Szapito' set in the circus training school outside Warsaw is truly beautiful as is his short made for the BBC 'The Prisoner'.
Other BBC/Poland connections from the 80's and 90's include (other than Pawlikowski's award winning docs) the extraordinary 'Dog eats Dog' documentary by Witold Starecki. Unfortunately the BBC connection probably rules out any bfi/Second Run polish doc collections?
MichaelB over to you...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:13 am 
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NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Other BBC/Poland connections from the 80's and 90's include (other than Pawlikowski's award winning docs) the extraordinary 'Dog eats Dog' documentary by Witold Starecki. Unfortunately the BBC connection probably rules out any bfi/Second Run polish doc collections?
MichaelB over to you...


A direct BBC connection usually does rule out a DVD release from anyone other than the BBC themselves. In fact, I was on a jury with Pawlikowski last summer and he told me that he's been dying to release a director-approved DVD edition of the best of his documentaries, and has an equally enthusiastic distributor lined up, but the sticking point is the BBC.

On the other hand, Dog Eat Dog wasn't actually produced by the BBC - it was merely screened in their True Stories strand. So the DVD rights may well be up for grabs.

Incidentally, thanks to der_Artur for the precis - I've just remembered I never got round to making a follow-up post! But it looks like a fascinating release, and I will of course be blind-buying. I've just ordered the Pawel Lozinski and Daniel Szczechura sets from Merlin and even with tracked UPS delivery they only came to about £11 each.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:41 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
...it looks like a fascinating release, and I will of course be blind-buying.

It does indeed. The announcement briefly mentions "Pewex" as one of the things that popped up due to the changed view of consumerism. Sweet memories came up, because it really was the one and only store you could buy all this amazing western goods (LEGO, for example).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:20 pm 
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According to this, the next documentary sets are Wladysław Ślesicki and Andrzej Titkow. Titkow has been trailed for some time, but the Ślesicki plans were new to me - and it's excellent news, as I was very impressed with his collaborations with Kazimierz Karabasz on the Black Series DVD.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:06 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
According to this, the next documentary sets are Wladysław Ślesicki and Andrzej Titkow.

I got Łoziński and Szczechura sets yesterday and indeed Ślesicki and Titkow DVD are mentioned as forthcoming in Łoziński's set.
I have not watched the films yet. Both are delightful sets, as expected, and Szczechura's has color booklet which includes interview and short description of each movie in a form of question and answer. It appears that Sczechura is the first in a series "Polish Animation".
der_Artur wrote:
The announcement briefly mentions "Pewex" as one of the things that popped up due to the changed view of consumerism. Sweet memories came up, because it really was the one and only store you could buy all this amazing western goods (LEGO, for example).

Yes they did. I grew up in Krakow and also vividly remember Pewex stores. I really can't wait to get this DVD set. "Satisfaction" set is not available yet - my brother visited Poland last week and was unable to buy it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:35 am 
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posto wrote:
Both are delightful sets, as expected, and Szczechura's has color booklet which includes interview and short description of each movie in a form of question and answer. It appears that Sczechura is the first in a series "Polish Animation".


Those who've been collecting the Polish documentary series will probably be relieved to hear that the name-change from PWA to NInA has made negligible difference - the style of presentation and artwork is identical, and the Pawel Łoziński set lines up beautifully on the shelves with all the others. The only change to the spine is that it now says 'Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny'. The booklet is the usual meaty effort, with introductory essay and individual entries on each film, presented in Polish and English.

The Szczechura set has adopted a different style with a very prominent spine number (1), and the hefty 46-page booklet includes an introductory essay, a general interview, the brief Q&As mentioned above for each film, a biography and a full filmography - again, fully bilingual. A quick glance at the DVDs suggest presentation standards are as high as ever - still no anamorphic enhancement, but this isn't relevant for the vast majority of titles.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:25 am 
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I've just managed to slip another plug for PWA/NInA into Sight & Sound...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:25 pm 
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I'm going to be passing through Warsaw and Katowice next week and wondering whether anyone can point to a recommended bricks and mortar store for stuff we like here.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:28 pm 
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I can't speak for Warsaw, but when I was in Poznań and Wrocław last year I did most of my DVD shopping at various branches of Empik. I can't believe Warsaw won't have one (or several).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:50 pm 
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There are empik stores all over Poland. I think there's quite a few in Warsaw.

My friend recently picked me up three of the PWA titles (Daniel Szczechura, Polish Children's Animation and Anthology of Polish Animation) in a Krakow empik.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:12 am 
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Good news - after a worryingly big gap, it seems that another PWA/NiNA documentary release is reaching the final stages of preparation, this time focusing on the solo films of Władysław Ślesicki (whose work with Kazimierz Karabasz has already featured on the Black Series DVD).

Apparently this will also be the first release in the Polish School of the Documentary series to be sourced from the original 35mm negatives.

More details when I get them.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:32 am 
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No more details yet, but in the meantime here's an English translation of Tadeusz Sobolewski's essay 'Paweł Łoziński's Cine-Eye', an overview of Łoziński's career that also includes quite a bit about the films on the relevant DVD.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:11 am 
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The Władysław Ślesicki DVD set (the latest entry in the Polish School of the Documentary series) has finally been announced - and seems to be already on sale.

I can't find a title listing, but the press release claims that it includes 17 out of his 23 films - and they've already released three on the Black Series DVD, so it's close to a definitive survey.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:52 am 
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My copy of the Ślesicki box has just arrived after an unscheduled weather-related stopover in Germany, and I can now confirm that it contains:

Disc 1
Family of Man (Rodzina człowiecza, 1966, 25 mins)
Amid People (Wśród ludzi, 1960, 14 mins)
A Team with Forest Spirit (W gromadzie ducha puszczy, 1957, 15 mins)
The Rafts Sail On (Płyną tratwy, 1962, 20 mins)
The Mountain (Góra, 1964, 15 mins)
Before Leaves Fall (Zanim opadną liście..., 1964, 28 mins)
Sloping Fields (Chyłe pola, 1970, 21 mins)

Disc 2
The Gypsy Camp (Jedzie tabor, 1955, 13 mins)
A Road Story (Opowieść o drodze, 1958, 19 mins)
A Walk in Bieszczady (Spacer w Bieszczadach, 1958, 6 mins)
Portrait of a Small Town (Portret małego miasta, 1961, 9 mins)
People and Fish (Ludzie i ryby, 1962, 13 mins)
The Twenty-First (Dwudziesta pierwsza, 1964, 13 mins)
A Moment of Silence (Chwila ciszy, 1965, 18 mins)
Days Months Years (Dni miesiące lata..., 1966, 16 mins)
Energy (Energia, 1967, 18 mins)
Sugar Mill in Morocco (1964, 18 mins)

Looking at his non-fiction filmography I can see that this and The Black Series offer a virtually complete collection of his documentaries as director or co-director. The other DVD set has Where the Devil Says Goodnight (1956), People from an Empty Zone (1957) and A Day Without the Sun (1959), so by my reckoning that's just two that haven't been released.

UPDATE: According to the booklet, the missing films are travelogues commissioned by the state tourism authority - presumably of negligible artistic value.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:40 pm 
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I've been waiting in vain for Merlin to stock the Jacek Blawut set. It's listed on Empik, but has never been available to order when I've looked. The weird thing now is that it's not even listed as a release on PWA / NINA's site. Nor is the Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz set, which I know exists.

Any ideas where the Blawut set can be obtained?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:30 pm 
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I got mine from Empik in the end, possibly with the Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz one at the same time. I have no idea why it was never listed on Merlin, because it's part of exactly the same series as the others. I own a copy of every single PWA/NiNA release in their Polish Documentary series, from the very first (Kieślowski) to the hot off the press (Ślesicki), so can confirm at first hand that they all exist!

Mind you, I don't know what happened to the fascinating-sounding Satisfaction - presumably withdrawn at the last minute, as I haven't seen hide nor hair of it either online or in any Polish shops.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Heads up - Doc Alliance is streaming five Marcel Łoziński films, with English subtitles, free of charge between now and May 2nd, including two titles not on the PWA compilation. (Both highly recommended, as are the other three - if I had to pick just one, it would be Anything Can Happen.)

In other news, I had lunch with the National Audiovisual Institute's press officer in Kraków last week, and she confirmed that the documentary series is indeed temporarily halted - but at least held out the possibility that it might be revived at some point.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Thank you for that Michael. I had never heard of Lozinski before so this is valuable just for that. I've only managed the time to go through 89mm so far, but I am enjoying it. No one makes people look like they've been through hell like the eastern Europeans.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:10 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
In other news, I had lunch with the National Audiovisual Institute's press officer in Kraków last week, and she confirmed that the documentary series is indeed temporarily halted - but at least held out the possibility that it might be revived at some point.

Bummer!
I have all of them and I'd love to see more. Some are really powerful, such as Drygas' "Hear my cry".
I was recently re-watching a few of Jacek Blawut's movies (inspired to do so by Allen Klein's "Warrendale"): "Born Dead" and "The Abnormals".
I also can't get enough of Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz. I watched "Hanky Panky" (or "Bara-Bara" in polish) several times - this one more for amusement.
Lozinski's are both top notch, highly recommended.
I hope the revive this series rather sooner than later.
Did she say why they halted it?


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