MAREK KOTERSKI – meeting with the author

date: 30/07/2012 time: 10:30 place: Allianz Cinema film program: retrospective of Marek Koterski artistic program: meetings

One of the most perspicacious analysts of Polish soul. Born in 1942, graduated from Polish Studies at Wrocław University, he planned an academic career. In 1967 he was admitted into Directing Department at The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz. He is an author of over a dozen documentary films shot mainly between 1975 and 1986. Films from that period are void of journalistic pretence and political ambitions that were typical of Polish Moral Anxiety Cinema. Koterski was more inclined towards impressions and staging elements with author’s individual mark clearly visible.

He waited for his feature debut for a long time. The idea of “House of fools” (1984) was conceived unexpectedly, during his crisis as an artist. Koterski was exasperated with being a second director and filming documentaries. The screenplay was written barely in three weeks and was “a trauma climax”. The main character became Adas Miauczynski, the director’s alter ego, who would grow up along with him in subsequent films. An oaf, a loser, a typical Polish intellectual bound to become a new Piszczyk and a true hero of the generation. “The house of fools” was filmed upon Koterski’s screenplay. The director remained faithful to his decision to work only with his own texts. Most often the films are based on revised theatrical plays Koterski adjusts to requirements of the cinema. As much as his next work,  “Inner life” (1986), was a serious vivisection of marital relations, his “Porn” (1989) was a shift towards comedy.

In “Nothing funny” (1995) and in “Ajlawju” (1999)  Koterski is further developing his unique ability to catch living speech and twisting Polish language up to a comic extreme. The language becomes a barrier to mutual understanding. Juicy vulgarisms render well the nature of colloquial language and bring the characters closer to imperfect everyday speech. Koterski’s efforts are crowned with “Day of the wacko” (2002), a chronicle of disappointments of a bitter Polish studies teacher. It is, at the same time, the most complete depiction of the Polish everyman motive – forever at odds with surrounding reality. In most recent “Man, Chicks Are Just Different” (2011) a car journey through Poland becomes a pretext for daring dialogues diagnosing mid-life crisis. Marek Koterski always speaks with his own voice and knocks the viewers out of their blissful complacency.