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A short history of Poland before the 19th century


Roman Polański in Revenge
Andrzej Wajda Film-maker
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Tutaj miałem wspaniałą możliwość, no bo mogłem sięgnąć do najlepszych aktorów, którzy grali te role, albo nie grając, czekali na to, żeby te role zagrać. No i mogłem się spotkać z Romanem Polańskim, który w roli tego rycerza, że tak powiem, fantasty, jakim jest w Zemście Papkin, pojawił się na ekranie po raz drugi w moim filmie. Pierwszy raz zagrał w filmie Pokolenie w 1954 roku, kiedy robiliśmy zdjęcia i po tylu latach pojawił się znowu w moim filmie w 2001 roku jako aktor. To, że się zgodził grać w filmie, było i dla mnie lekkim zaskoczeniem, bo wiem, że on nie – a nawet dużym zaskoczeniem – bo wiem, że on nie jest takim chętnym do grania. No ale myślę, że nagle po filmie Pianista poczuł, żeby się zanurzyć w inny świat, żeby... żeby... Może nagle przez to, że duża część tego filmu Pianista była robiona w Polsce, nagle przypomniał mu się polski język też, dużo tu rozmawiał z nami po polsku, czego normalnie nie robi. I nagle poczuł chęć zagrania w swoim ojczystym, polskim języku. I myślę, że to... że to z wielką dla filmu... z wielkim było... z wielkim pożytkiem dla filmu.

I had the opportunity to select the best actors who'd played these roles or, if they hadn't yet played them, were waiting to do so. And I was able to meet Roman Polański who played the role of the fantasist knight Papkin in Revenge, and who was appearing on screen for the second time in one of my films. The first time was when he'd been in A Generation in '54 when we'd been shooting, and now, after all these years, he had appeared again in one of my films made in 2001 as an actor. The fact that he had agreed to be in the film was something of a surprise, even quite a significant surprise because I know that he's not too keen on acting. But I think that after The Pianist he suddenly felt like immersing himself in a different world, perhaps because a large part of The Pianist was made in Poland, he'd reminded himself of the Polish language because he'd talked a lot with us in Polish which he normally didn't do, and suddenly he wanted to play a role in his native Polish language. And I think this was of great benefit to the film.

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) was a towering presence in Polish cinema for six decades. His films, showing the horror of the German occupation of Poland, won awards at Cannes and established his reputation as both story-teller and commentator on Poland's turbulent history. As well as his impressive career in TV and film, he also served on the national Senate from 1989-91.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.

Tags: Revenge, A Generation, The Pianist, Roman Polański

Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008