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Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema travels to 30 cities

Mother Joan of the Angels
Mother Joan of the Angels
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This won't be Greek to anyone, just a brilliant showcases for great Polish films.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, a 21-film series created and organized by Scorsese’s non-profit organization, The Film Foundation in partnership with Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory and CRF, distributed by Milestone Films in cooperation with Janus, featuring classic works from some of Poland’s most accomplished and lauded filmmakers, spanning the period from 1957–1987. Curated by Scorsese from a selection of new digital restorations, the series premieres at the Film Society, February 5-16, and will travel to 30 cities this year. Each film will be presented in brilliantly re-mastered and newly subtitled DCPs.
“Poland has long been home to one of the richest national cinemas, and the period surveyed in this program was an especially fertile one,” says Dennis Lim, the Film Society’s Director of Cinematheque Programming. “We are proud to be partnering with the Film Foundation and Milestone to launch this major national tour. Handpicked by Martin Scorsese, this is an extraordinary selection of films, ranging from classics to rarities, all worthy of discovery and re-discovery.”
Highlights include the Opening Night presentation of Andrzej Wajda’s Palme d’Or winner and Academy Award-nominee Man of Iron (1981) about the workers’ strike in Gdańsk that led to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and Krzysztof Zanussi’s Camouflage (1976), a comic story of a contentious relationship between a young linguist and an associate professor; Alexander Ford’s Black Cross (1960), a blockbuster (and the most-viewed Polish film in history) set against a backdrop of medieval battles; Wojciech Has’s mystical film adaptation of The Saragossa Manuscript (1964), a prize-winner at the Edinburgh and San Sebastian film festivals; Andrzej Munk’s Eroica (1957), a look at the contrast in lives between that of a street-wise bon-vivant and those of righteous Polish officers incarcerated in a German camp during WWII; and Zanussi’s 70s philosophical essay on film incorporating animation, experimental techniques and documentary footage, The Illumination (1972).
Other notable films include Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Mother Joan of the Angels (1960), Night Train (1959), Pharaoh (1965), Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance (1981) and A Short Film about Killing (1987), Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Innocent Sorcerers (1960), The Promised Land (1974) and The Wedding (1972), and Zanussi’s The Constant Factor (1980).
The genesis of Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema began in December 2011 when Scorsese received an honorary doctoral degree from The Polish National Film, Television, and Theatre School in Łódź, Poland. While there Scorsese met with the Polish organizer of the series, Jędrzej Sabliński—a digital restoration expert now with DI Factory, which provides data processing to motion picture studios and filmmakers. They both discussed the progress of digital film restoration in Poland and how The Film Foundation could help. In the months following his visit, the idea of a North American tour of a series of restored Polish classics came together, with 21 titles selected by Scorsese from the list of digitally restored films. The Film Foundation executive director Margaret Bodde worked with Sabliński to develop the program and recommended Milestone Film as the North American distributor for the series.
Tickets and a discount package for the series are on sale. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. Discount packages start at $30; $24 for students and seniors (62+); and $21 for Film Society members. Discount prices apply with the purchase of tickets to three films or more. Visit for more information.

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