The “Roman Polański’s Films in World Film Poster” Album

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The posters of all Roman Polański’s films can be seen in a beautiful album issued by the Łódź Film Museum. The Museum holds the world biggest collection of the posters of the most famous Polish director – more than 500 copies from over 30 countries. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition of the same title which will be open to visitors from 15th to 30th September 2015 at the Museum of the City of Gdynia. Both the exhibition and the catalogue are accompanying events of the 40th Gdynia Film Festival.

The catalogue documents the work of the most outstanding poster artists, among others, René Ferracci, Jean Michel Folon, Clément Hurel, Bernard Bernhardt, Peter Strausfeld; photographical posters with pictures by the outstanding photographical artist Guy Ferrandis; as well as the works of outstanding Polish graphic artists: Jan Lenica, Andrzej Dąbrowski, Leszek Hołdanowicz, Rosław Szaybo, Wiesław Wałkuski, Andrzej Klimowski and Andrzej Pągowski.

More than 300 pages of the catalogue include not only posters but also statements by the director and his co-operators. In this way, the reader has the chance not only to observe the changes in the very art of the film poster and the ideas of the graphic artists of facing Roman Polański’s films but also to get to know a lot about his professional life. “The abundance and diversity of the works make us realise how remarkable, multi-layered and inspiring his work is, not only to the filmmakers,” Marzena Bomanowska, the Film Museum Director, notes.

The catalogue features the memoirs of, among others, Peter Greenaway, Jerzy Skolimowski, Adrien Brody, Woody Allen and Brett Ratner. “It was 17 years ago that I first met Roman Polański, that it – soon after I directed my first film, “Rush Hours”. I came to Paris, called Roman’s office and I was told that I should meet him in his favourite restaurant “Chez Andre”. Before the meeting, I bought all the posters of his films that I could find in Paris, including the poster of my favourite “The Tenant”, to ask for his autograph. I began with the words: <Dear Mr Roman Polański, I am not sure if we will ever meet again, so could you please sign all those posters?> He answered, <What would you like me to write?> I said, <To my favourite director, Brett; to my charge, Brett.> He must have thought I was a madman. The tables in “Chez Andre” are very small and the posters were very big, so that must have looked comically. I spent a few hours asking him questions about my favourite films by Polański, and he answered all the raised questions” (Brett Ratner).

The catalogue has already received favourable reviews in the world and in Poland. Its creators have been praised by, among others, Nick Holdsworth in “The Hollywood Reporter” and Anna Wróblewska on the Film Portal. Michał Oleszczyk, the Artistic Director of the Gdynia Film Festival, has emphasized how happy he is of the exhibition’s and album’s premiere at the Festival: “It is one of the most beautiful albums of such kind that I have even seen. Most unusual, precise piece of work. A few hundred pages unveil a story of the international reception of Polański’s films: of how the films have fascinated the viewers and artists all over the world, as well as of the great diversity of interpretations they have inspired.”

The book was edited by Marzena Bomanowska and Krystyna Zamysłowska and created in cooperation with Piotr Kulesza. Sławomir Bit is the author of the graphic design of the catalogue. The publishing company was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, the Polish Filmmakers Association and the Kino Polska Television.

Phot. The materials come from the Łódź Film Museum collections.