An artist? I came to school to learn a profession.
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25. 11. 2017. Department

Kazimierz Kutz returns to his old school in Lodz after 60 years.

- There’s an old man in front of you, standing in the middle of a football pitch, that’s right where there used to be the pitch where we would play football. I am the last surviving film-maker of the two first years of students in the Film School. They’re all gone. I can say anything I want about them, but don’t worry I’m not going to twist history. – with these words Kazimierz Kuts started his meeting at the Film School. The school he returned to after 60 years.

Thank to Kazimierz Kutz for three hours we moved back in time to the Film School of the 1950s; times when among the students there were those who would later represent the so-called Polish School of Film, the trend which made Polish cinema great in Poland and famous abroad. But that was later. Let’s go back to the first steps of Kazimierz Kutz who came from a small town of Szopienice in Silesia to the Lodz Film School.

‘I’d never been out of Silesia to the midlands of Poland before. I came to the entrance exam in a big city. I entered a palace kind of building (I’d never been to a palace before, either), an elegant building full of mirrors. Six hundred applicants and me amongst them weighing just 52 kilos, looking no more than 14. The exam tested not so much your knowledge as your personality – remembered our guest.

Kazimierz Kutz is now working on a book devoted to the beginnings of his career and people he came cross then. He read fragments from the book during the meeting. A professional outsider, a true Silesian, one of the most original Polish film-makers admitted that he came to the film school to learn... the profession:

- What artist? I went to the film school to learn the ropes, the profession. Stendhal was my patron. There was a library, an archives full of films, I would devour all that. If I were not to succeed I knew a coalmine was waiting. That was a deal I had with my parents.

He spoke a lot in a colourful way, typical for him. He felt right at home and told us as it was, straightforward. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to quote all the anecdotes.

Kazimierz Kutz’ Day at the Film School finished with a screening of his film "Nobody Calls”, his artistic manifesto. During the meeting at the school, Kutz, who came to Lodz invited by the European Film Forum ORLEN Cinergia, received the Golden “Bovver Boot”, the prize awarded by Charlie Cinema and "Łódź Filmowa” Association, awarded to independent artists who in a consistent way oppose the trends present in pop culture, and who reveal and ridicule myths and stereotypes present in the mass imagination of the Poles.

photos: Filip Szkopiński