Recreating Communist Poland’s youth in film.
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19. 03. 2015. Department

The workshop run by an Oscar winning art director and interior designer, Ewa Braun, is in progress. Students of direction, cinematography and acting recreate historical for them Communist Poland.

- The aim of my workshop is always the deepening of students’ awareness of the role and interactions between such elements as art direction, costumes, make-up and props - all contributing to the final result, the visual side of a film, and carrying a strong message – says Ewa Braun.

The art direction workshops run by the Oscar winning art director (for Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”), Ewa Braun, are already the Lodz Film School tradition. This time, a week-long workshop has been organized for third year students of film direction, cinematography and acting. The images the students produce while working in teams should grasp and reflect the accurate character of the past times, its social and political aspects in order to be clear for viewers. During previous workshops the students recreated the times of the 1920s and 1930s and also 1970s and 1980s. – This time I decided to have them acquainted with the distant times of the beginnings of the Communist Era in Poland. The students’ task was to construct screenplays based in the second half of the 1940s and 1950s. It was important to differentiate two periods, namely, the late 1940s when soc-realistic stylistics and omnipresent propaganda flourished, from the second half of the 1950, which were the times of political thaw, change of esthetics inspired by western trends in fashion and music when the youth started to be interested in jazz and a cabaret student theatre (STS) started to stage their satirical shows. All these phenomena are reflected in the student films shot during the workshop. - says Ewa Braun.

That is why two decoration teams worked to re-create a culture club hall, a theatre hall, and a cafe to re-produce the atmosphere of the 1940s and 50s. In these interiors the students have been making their short fiction films, creating the place of action and filming their stories. The acting students, who take part in the films, have had an opportunity to find out about the role of costumes and make-up in the process of their metamorphosis. It’s a creative work. The director, operator and actor – they all have to be aware of the image – of how much and what it tells the viewer. – says Ewa Braun.

The make-up artists during Ewa Braun’s workshop were teachers, graduates and students of the International Dziewulski Studium.

photos: Michał Siarek