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Screening of Maciej Stuhr’s films — iTSelF Festival

Screening of Maciej Stuhr’s films

THE SECOND CONCERTO FOR CELLO AND ORCHESTRA
based on Malgorzata Smolak’s reportage

Maciek is a young ophthalmologist and his passion is to play concerts with his band. During one of his gigs, he suffers from a stroke and has to undergo a complicated operation which barely saves his life. His condition is difficult, it is impossible way to contact him in any way. He is taken care of by his wife Monika and his bandmates. Eventually, they manage to find a rehab facility for Maciek and they transport him there. While at the facility, it turns out that a new Polish invention – the cyber eye – would allow Maciek to contact the people around him using a computer. This is how we learn that Maciek feels trapped not only in his body but also in his relationship. A fight for his freedom breaks out, but it’s getting more and more difficult, as a motion for his full incapacitation is filed in court. Will the judges accept the motion or rather trust the not-entirely-scientifically-proven piece of medical equipment which allows Maciek to communicate with the outside world?

 

The film features the recording of The Second Concerto for Cello and Symphony Orchestra by Paweł Mykietyn, performed by Marcin Zdunik and The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, under the baton of Bassem Akiki. The composition is available from the catalogue of the PWM Edition.

 

A Polish Film Institute Co-financed Production.

 

THE BLOODY DEAN

The next short motion picture by Maciej Stuhr plays with the convention of a horror movie. Ewa, a student of Theatre Academy, is running late as she enters the school’s building. It seems oddly empty with all its rooms closed and she can hear some weird noises. Ewa is terrified to discover slumping bodies. She tries to run away, but meanwhile, somebody closed all the doors. Finally, she manages to find her group in one of the rooms. It turns out that the whole Academy has been terrorized by the mysterious Bloody Dean. The students are put to the ultimate test to see if they are fit to work as actors. The voice of the Bloody Dean gives them orders making them enact fragments of actor exams. The Dean has some odd kind of authority over his students, he can even take their lives away. Some are not up for this challenge. Young actors discover that there is some regularity to this death trap: if they act badly, one of the listeners is killed, but when their acting is good – death claims one of the performers. How will they solve this nightmarish dilemma? Can they outwit the Dean? The Bloody Dean is not a classic horror movie, it seems more of a pastiche. By the way, it is also the metaphor of life of a young actor who must sacrifice a lot in order to get his dream job, some- times even his own life. The picture was shot in Theatre Academy in Warsaw as a part of Maciej Stuhr’s subject Working with the Camera. The professional setting provided by cameraman Maciej Puczyński and composer Michał Gorczyca lets The Bloody Dean appear not as a result of school work, but rather as playing with the short film convention.