Edit
Andrzej Zulawski Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 22 November 1940Lwów, Lwowskie, Poland [now Lviv, Ukraine]
Date of Death 17 February 2016Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Lvov, Ukraine; then he moved with his father Miroslaw Zulawski to Czechoslovakia and later to Poland. In the late 1950s, he studied cinema in France. In the 1960s, he was an assistant of the famous Polish film director Andrzej Wajda. His feature debut The Third Part of the Night (1971) was an adaptation of his father's novel. His second feature The Devil (1972) was prohibited in Poland, and Zulawski went to France. After the success of his French debut That Most Important Thing: Love (1975) in 1975, he returned to Poland where he spent two years in making On the Silver Globe (1988). The work on this film was brutally interrupted by the authorities. After that, Zulawski moved to France where became known for his highly artistic, controversial, and very violent films. Zulawski is well known for his ability to discover and "rediscover" actresses. Romy Schneider, Isabelle Adjani and Sophie Marceau played their best parts in his films.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Yuri German <blsidt1@imf.org>

Spouse (1)

Malgorzata Braunek (? - ?) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (10)

Together with actress Sophie Marceau he has a son, Vincent, who was born on July 24, 1995.
When the shooting of On the Silver Globe (1988) was almost completed, the communist Polish Ministry of Culture ordered to stop the filming and destroy all related materials. The negative was saved, however, and during the liberalization of the political regime in Poland in 1986-1987, Zulawski returned to the country and managed to complete the film from the spared material. Missing scenes were replaced by alternative footage and his new narration. This fragmented version was finally presented in 1988 at the Cannes Film Festival in the 'Un Certain Regard' Section.
Father of Xawery Zulawski.
Studied at L'IDHEC (La FEMIS) in Paris, France.
In 1996 Andrzej Zulawski chaired the Jury of the Camerimage Feature Films Competition in Torun, Poland.
In 1981 Andrzej Zulawski was the President of the Jury at the Locarno International Film Festival.
In 2006 Andrzej Zulawski was the Head of the Jury at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival.
In 2012 Andrzej Zulawski was the Jury Chairman for the main competition at the 5th International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera in Krakow, Poland.
In 2007 Andrzej Zulawski was the President of the Jury for the main competition at the 21st International Cabourg Romantic Film Festival in Cabourg, France.
Full retrospective at the 8th New Horizons Film Festival (2008).

Personal Quotes (12)

I came from the French cinematic school of real thinking; and I believe that, with few exceptions, acting is a female occupation.
I make the films about what is torturing me, and a woman serves here as a medium.
I only want to film stories which have something excessive about them.
To please the majority is the requirement of the Planet Cinema. As far as I'm concerned, I don't make a concession to viewers, these victims of life, who think that a film is made only for their enjoyment, and who know nothing about their own existence.
Speaking profoundly, I love cinema, so I love to see it when I can, and I still love to do it when I can. But the energies are exactly the same as always. An English journalist told me that my film is an extremely radical film. I was listening with suspicion. I wondered, what does he mean by "radical"? It's chop, chop, chop, straightforward, punching the lines, etc. Maybe it is radical, I don't know. I enjoyed doing it, and I especially enjoyed working with the actors. I think they are all quite, quite fabulous. I also enjoyed fighting with the book by Gombrowicz. He was such a brilliant and highly intelligent and perverse guy. I was making a film that didn't attempt to be in a fight with the book-not destroying the book or pretending to destroy the book-but rather be faithful to the spirit of the book while not just flatly filming the book. Making a real film out of it was my goal.[2015]
...the only thing that I cannot sustain in cinema is boredom, this terrible boredom which assails European cinemas now, and these terrible festivals. Go to Cannes, you'll die. [2015]
Please, what's important or necessary in cinema? Nothing. "Important," "necessary" - I can't understand these words. I do it because the book is lovely and brilliant. I've liked the book for ages. I was very surprised to be offered the opportunity to film it. I would never think of it. And that's it. Now, is it important? No, I don't think so. What's important? Locarno [film festival]'s important? That car over there? No. Or Hollywood? No.[2015]
...the only progress in film nowadays is in technology. Technology leads the industry, or the industries. You have three solutions, and in between, once every five or six years, you can see a film which is a film, which is something to see, to hear, to get moved by in a way or another. I'm still very much against [contemporary cinema]. What can we do?[2015]
I was very happy not doing films for 15 years. Maybe it was the happiest period of my life. I was busy with really interesting things, like living.[2015]
[on casting Cosmos (2015)] The young guy who is the lead, Jonathan Genet, I found in a theater in France. Not in Paris, but in the provinces. He does a lot of theater, but he's practically unknown. I discovered him in the provinces, where I went because there are a lot of fantastically gifted and strange and unknown actors there, because the known ones are in Paris and they do resemble each other maybe not physically, but in the way they perform. He's a wild guy. He's fantastically interesting for me in a part that we cannot define really. It's ambiguous. I think that's very difficult too for him, to endorse this un-clarity, which is Gombrowicz. (...) The girl, Victória Guerra, was discovered by the producer. She's Portuguese, and I saw her in two not very convincing films, huge historical frescos, Lines of Wellington (2012).... In the first one, she acted with John Malkovich. John told me: "Don't hesitate. Take her. Take her. She is a talent." And one listens to John Malkovich, who's the ham of hams, but very intelligent, totally bright, and so I listened. I did a test. The first shot of the movie was a shot in the mountains when she breaks down, to see if she can do it, and she could. So, she was in the film. (...) The two French actors from the old school, I knew them for years and years, and I admire them, especially Jean-François Balmer, the guy who does the older man. I think it's an incredibly brilliant performance with the language, with the French. He's amazing and I always saw him in the theater, and I always wanted one day to have the pleasure of working with him. He's a great actor. Sabine Azéma, who was the wife of Alain Resnais for 30 years, who I respected a lot, though strangely I never thought she was any good in his films. (...) Though in some light things where you have to be very quick and witty, she's very good. And she's very popular. For a producer, it's important. And she's a sweet person. We also had two Portuguese actors, which was easier, as we were shooting in Portugal. It was a small cast, a cast of nine.[2015]
[on how to describe the style of Cosmos (2015)] It's called Surrealism. It's an interesting interpretation, Romanticism pushed to the point of absurdity, which is called Surrealism.[2015]
[on writing Cosmos (2015)] So the adaptation was something very, very difficult for me. I think I wrote the script three times in order to be absolutely faithful to this mad spirit of Witold Gombrowicz. On the other hand, I didn't want to just film the book, but to make an independent and free film. (...) everything people say, the long monologues, the things Witold writes on his computer, this is in fact pure Gombrowicz, this is the text. But whether they go here or there or do this or that... this is an adaptation and a script has to be a script. Gombrowicz didn't give a fuck for any kind of logic. For instance, he allows himself to write that, okay, two people go to the garden, there are two, and suddenly one of them disappears. The one who stays never wonders what happened to the other. You cannot write a script this way. People will say: "What did they do with the other guy? Did they cut it? He got erased?" So there are certain simple rules we cannot avoid in writing scripts. Even Mel Brooks respects...the grammar of cinema.[2015]

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page