This documentary chronicles the life of Polish-American artist Stanislav Szukalski (1893-1987) from his early years in Chicago, to his time in Poland and Los Angeles, and his artistic and political contributions to the world.
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In old Betamax footage, the Polish-American artist Stanislav Szukalski (1893-1987) speaks animatedly about his life and work. Art aficionado Glenn Bray filmed his elderly friend in the last years of his life to document his remarkable career and personality before it was too late. In this wide-ranging portrait, Bray explains how he met Szukalski by chance in 1971 when he came across one of his expressionist drawings and discovered that its maker lived only a few miles away from him. The man leading a modest, anonymous life in Burbank, California turned out to have been a well-known avant-garde artist in Chicago and pre-war Poland. Szukalski created a mythology entirely of his own in his drawings and paintings, as well as an extensive manuscript. After his return to the United States, a group of artists and art lovers gathered around Szukalski, among them George DiCaprio and his son Leonardo, who jointly produced this documentary. The interviews and archive footage tell the ...Written by
Film Street Poland
The Ultimate Non-Conformist Unknown Artist of Modern Time
Having never heard of Szulkalski I was interested when I saw the title. Since life's struggles often produce art of note it seemed worth a look...especially with the word "lost" in the title. I'd say the man and the film was quite engrossing as was the breadth of his other worldly art. It was obvious in short order this was a singular artist who wouldn't accept other men's conventions. His life was like multiple lives with the constants of heart wrenching struggles and a period of great success and adulation. Post War World II he was forgotten never to reach the heights of his greatness in the mid to late thirties in his homeland. Throughout his anonymity he soldiered on in creating unconventional art and thinking. Integral to the film he was discovered by a young artist who become like a son to him whose guides the film in a highly personal way. Szukalski is re-introduced to a cadre of other, mostly avant garde, artists who provide insightful observations and counterpoints. Along with the extraordinary art it makes for an entertaining watch while helping to elevate the work of Szukalski. The man was not just amazingly talented, but a strong survivor who grew in his humanity while never being conventional. Apparently he was a friend of Leonardo DiCaprio's father and this proved to be key in the funding and creation of this documentary. There will be plenty who see his art in a lesser way to be sure, but the fact is this is a singularly unique person whose journey was very interesting and well presented. I think it will appeal to many viewers as such and is a nice elevation of a man who would otherwise be a forgotten but hugely talented artist.
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