Blog / Filmmaker Lech Majewski to Speak at Duke this Tuesday Night


By Libby Lynn

Polish filmmaker Lech Majewski will host a Q&A session this Tuesday night, September 23rd, following the screening of his film Wojaczek at Griffith Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke’s campus at 8:30PM.

If you’ve never heard of Lech Majewski, you might have recognized his work in the movie Basquiat, which he was originally slated to direct. After Julian Schnabel took over the reigns, Majewski wrote the film’s story. Majewski was also the first Polish filmmaker to get a full retrospective show at MOMA in 1996, just midway through his career.

The screening of Wojaczek is part of an ongoing showcase of Majewski’s films at Griffith Theater for Duke’s Film/Video/Digital Screen Society’s program for 2008. Last week, I attended the screening of Angelus, a very weird dark comedy about a real occultist commune that existed in a small Polish mining town from the 1930s through the 1950s. Lech Majewsi is also a poet and visual artist, and his directing style is very painterly and surreal.

Angelus (2001) is actually the follow-up film to Wojaczek (1999), but because of a limited number of prints, the films had to be screened out of order. Wojaczek is a stylized biopic about Rafal Wojaczek, a post-WW2 Polish poet who lived very hard and died at the age of 26. The film won the Golden Key Award for Best Direction and a Diploma Award for Art Fiction. Parents and people who aren’t comfortable with sexual themes should know that Wojaczek has a fair share of adult content, which is one of many reasons why I can’t wait to see it.

Fans of magical realism, historical fiction and weird Polish films will love this one. Plus, the fact that Lech Majewski will be there in person to answer all of your questions is a pretty rare event for Durham.

Note that the screening starts at 8:30PM (instead of 8PM, which is the usual start time for F/V/D screenings at Duke), and the Q&A will follow the film. Directions to Griffith Theater are here. Paid parking is available at the Bryan Center.

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