Jan Lenica


There are two films make by him I really respect. I am attracted by his sense of graphic and music, and also love the storied he gave to the character, which are also  give to audience. He has a powerful ability —  extract and concentration the theory of life.

Monsieur Tête (1959)

A (1965)


The writing below is from his website :

Philosophy and effect

Let us consider the philosophy of Lenica’s films. They involve an artistic game, patterned on experimental films made by Ferdinand Leger, a serious, Melies-like treatment of the picture, references to Chaplin (a man in a bowler hat appears in Lenica films including his debut), a ridicule of cultural clichés – as found in Nowy Janko Muzykant / New Janko the Musician, and in Fantorro – Le dernier justicier a – and surrealist games, as found in Stilleben. Yet there is a deeper message in almost all of them. A, Lenica’s simply structured tale of the struggle of a lonely man against the terror of the first letter of the alphabet, can easily be interpreted in terms of a conflict between an individual and the machinery of the state. This interpretation also fits Monsieur Tete, Adam 2, Die Nashorner and, particularly, Lenica’s last film, Wyspa R.O. / Island R.O. No wonder his films are considered pessimistic and catastrophic, and he admitted to balancing “between grotesque and drama”.

However, this interpretation narrows the full range of readings of Lenica’s work. He invoked the myth of Icarus (Labirynt / The Labyrinth) and myths of low culture,such as Fantomas (Fantorro). He mitigated the absurdity of existence, both the Kafka-esque (Labirynt, A, Adam 2) and Ionesco-like (Monsieur Tete, Rhinoceros), with Max Ernst-like, surprising, surrealistic juxtapositions of objects (Monsieur Tete, Nowy Janko Muzykant, Labirynt). The beauty and order of the world of Art Nouveau (Labirynt) contrasts with the monstrous shapes of skeleton-like dream beasts (Landscape, the film invoking Lenica’s wartime experience during the German occupation) or the grotesque, dangerous characters in his adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. Despite the variety of techniques, themes and genres, Lenica’s style is quite easy to recognize. Zdzisław Schubert wrote in 1999 that Lenica’s work is very expressive and at the same time has a discernible intellectual dimension, each film conveying a personal message “revolving around the dilemmas of human existence”.

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