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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Now playing: Venice by way of the Polish countryside

Posted By on 05.29.12 at 06:22 PM

Magic-realist imagery pervades Jan Jakub Kolskis Venice.
  • Magic-realist imagery pervades Jan Jakub Kolski's Venice.
Tomorrow at 6:30 PM, Cinema/Chicago (organizers of the Chicago International Film Festival) and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland will host a free screening of the 2010 Polish feature Venice at the Cultural Center, to be followed by a Q&A with lead actress Magdalena Cielecka (there's a second screening, sans Cielecka, scheduled for Saturday at 2 PM). The film is a magic-realist fantasy set at the beginning of World War II, and it centers on an upper-class boy who conjures an imaginary Venice in the basement of his family's country estate. We at the Reader have grown pretty skeptical in recent years of Polish WWII movies, though this one has a higher pedigree than most: it's based on a couple of short stories by Nobel finalist Wlodzimierz Odojewski, and director Jan Jakub Kolski (who previously adapted Witold Gombrowicz's classic novella Pornografia) is one of the more respected filmmakers working in Poland today. In any case, this event should provide insight into the Polish cinema, literature, and theater; Cielecka is also a noted stage actress in Warsaw.

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