From behind the New Yorker's temporarily removed paywall, a postmodern murder mystery
from Poland in 2007.
Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014)
was a renowned Polish ‘poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, satirist and translator.’ Reckoned by Seamus Heaney as ‘one of the great European poets of the 20th century,’ he died in April at the age of 92: Guardian obituary
; NYT obituary
. [more inside]
Paths of Hate
is a highly stylized Polish CGI animated short movie which to an extent mimics traditional cel animation, but goes far beyond what's practically possible with traditional techniques. It also has some excellent, high-intensity aerial combat. Possibly NSFW for some light blood and gore.
It was on a Monday, April second - I was cruising in the vicinity of Betelgeuse - when a meteor no larger than a lima bean pierced the hull, shattered the drive regulator and part of the rudder, as a result of which the rocket lost all maneuverability. [more inside]
As a tribute to Frédéric Chopin, we take you to the home of Arthur Rubinstein - one of the most distinguished interpreters of his works. [more inside]
Happy Dyngus Day!
Like St. Patrick's Day for the Polish.
802 Prisoners attempted escape from Auschwitz. 144 were successful. Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish boy scout, was one of them. Today, at age 91, he tells his story
. [more inside]
Composer Henryk Górecki
, known for his choral and orchestral works in the "sacred minimalist
" style, has died
. He was best known for his Symphony #3, "Sorrowful Songs," (YT sample
) premiered in the U.S. in 1994. Górecki's Symphony #4, scheduled to premier in 2010, was postponed because of the composer's extended illness
, will not be completed.
The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 130 others, including a huge proportion of the elite of Polish politics, have died in a plane crash. [more inside]
How to iron a shirt.
Everything is cooler in Japan. [more inside]
who come from near Augustow in NE Poland where established in 1988 are apparently the only musical group of "Old Believers." [more inside]
"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"
That was after
this Polish scion of the most famous family in Europe and commander of a soi disant
"Ukrainian Legion" failed to finagle the crown as a Socialist king of The Ukraine, and became instead a patron of the rent boys of Paris who "handled women by necessity and men for pleasure"
. And all that before
he turned successively a Nazi sympathizer, a British spy, and finally came, for the first and last time, to Ukraine's capital Kiev as a victim of Stalin and the Twentieth Century.
At One Minute Languages
you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan
, and Russian
Apparently whenever US movies were released in Soviet-era Poland, the posters were discarded and replaced by new versions by Polish artists
. Alternately disturbing and frickin' awesome, and often containing political comments of varying subtlety.
I'll bet if you aren't Polish you've never heard of Jerzy Duda-Gracz
. Poor guy doesn't even have an English Wikipedia page [pl]
, even though he's the most popular post-war painter [pl]
in his homeland. Come inside to see some of his work. [more inside]
Stanislav Szukalski was born in Warta, Poland on December 13, 1893. When he was only six years old, a teacher sent him to the headmaster's office for whittling a pencil. The headmaster examined the pencil more closely and discovered that young Stanislav had carved a tiny, near-perfect figure. [more inside]
, tramp, hermit, holy man, Facebook celebrity and (alleged) former member of the SS, has died, aged 86.
Upon the Nazi invasion of Poland, pediatrician Eugeniusz Łazowski and his friend Stanisław Matulewicz fabricated a fake typhus epidemic
to save Polish Jews from the Nazis
. Knowing that typhus-infected Jews would be summarily executed, non-Jews were injected with the harmless Proteus OX19
, which would generate false positives for typhus. [more inside]
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
for short. Artist
, photographer, absurdist playwright
, surrealist novelist, philosopher
, witness to the Russian revolution
, art theoretician and critic
, the Great Malinowski's closest friend
, drug fiend
, and by most accounts a raving maniac
pain in the ass. His greatest novel
was sadly prophetic: fleeing east to escape the invading Nazis, and then hearing the news that the Communists were also on the way, he slit his wrists on September 18, 1939 in the village of Jeziory, a martyr and victim to his obstinate belief in the freedom and independence of man against the bankruptcy of ideology and the coming wave of totalitarianism
, but this guy's work is just too bizarrely compelling
, and his legacy too obscure, to not get a little bit more attention.
The Real-Life Vesper Lynde.
Known to history as Christine Granville, Krystyna Skarbek was first Polish nobility and later Churchill's favorite spy. Undaunted by weather, Christine skied over the Tatras
from Hungary to Poland to gather intelligence and participated in the liberation of France. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre,
but found herself ill-suited to normal employment, and worked as a saleswoman at Harrods and as a telephonist before becoming an oceanliner stewardess. Along the way, Christine met Ian Fleming
, who may have based his first "Bond Girl"
on the intrepid spy. Want to know more? Read her recently republished biography
or order her file
from the Briish National Archives.
Stanislaw Lem: 1921-2006.
Polish science-fiction giant Stanislaw Lem
died this morning. He was 84.
Though Lem was not as well known
as Asimov or Heinlein or the other "Masters", he was just as important
to the genre. Lem was not a fan of traditonal science-fiction
, and in his work
tried to approach futuristic themes from a more humanistic, almost psychological, perspective. (And his books are funny
!) His best-known work, Solaris
, was twice made into a film, most recently in 2002
. [Woefully out-of-date official site.]
was a Polish calvary officer, who was imprisoned by the Soviets and eventually taken to a prison in Siberia. With 7 companions, including one mysterious american, he escaped and journeyed to the south, crossing Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Tibet before making it to British India. Or at least this is what he claims in his book "The Long Walk
." Nobody has ever found evidence
that he was ever in russia or that any of his companions ever existed
. Oh and he also claims to have seen Yetis.
The always great (and frequently linked) RetroCrush
currently has an exhibit on Polish movie posters
for western films; seemingly devoid of the original branding & identity art, it's fun to try and guess what movie
the images could even be trying to promote. Some are beautiful
, some are amateurish
, all are intriguing.
The delusional world of Robert Hendy-Freegard, assasin/spy/carsalesman
The tale of a power-mad car salesman. The guy managed to get so many people to do so many crazy things that I suggest you read the link for yourself. Unbelievable.
Happy Dingus Day!
The little known day-after-Easter holiday originally celebrated in Poland involves men dumping water on women and women chasing men around with sticks or pussywillows.
Freedom on the Fence: The Polish Poster.
While we're at it: The history and culture of the Polish poster
and an analysis of American Films in Polish Posters
. Or, if you'd prefer, The Classic Polish Film Poster
database (where the Disney/Children's film posters
are quite lovely). Also, The Wallace Library
at the Rochester Institute of Technology has a fantastic searchable and browse-able database, with many hi-res images. Finally, some other Polish Poster Galleries. (What's that? You want more? You want artist-specific galleries? Okay. Here's work by Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Piotr Kunce, Wieslaw Walkuski, and Jan Sawka. Oh, you wanted Communist-era Polish propaganda posters? Fine. Here ya go.) [previous MeFi discussion on Polish film posters; also, some of the images from these links may be NSFW, depending on how S your W environment is.]
Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)
- one of the greatest poets of the 20th century - passed away on Saturday in Krackow, Poland. I want to remember him here with this:
"Conversation with Jeanne"
Polish movie posters.
The Polish Poster Gallery
has a fascinating collection of artist renditions of american movie posters. The collection compares favorably with the 50 Greatest Movie Posters
, as listed by Premiere
not only does poland have the best cinematographers,
but their movie posters
are really awesome, too. inflammatory, erotic, surreal,
well, not cute :) truly art as advertisement
and good for decoration!
Having just moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the heart of Polish New York City, I've been digging for Polish links. English-Polish computing dictionary
. Useful Polish phrases
, with audio. Simple Polish lessons
and email list. Polish spelling dictionary
. Warsaw Voice
English-language newspaper. Warsaw Business Journal
, in English. Warsaw Insider
, a city guide. Portal for Wroclaw
, capital of Lower Silesia. Kracow Academic Radio
. Radio KRAJ
from Brisbane. Polish Reader's Digest
. Finally, The Official Site of His Serene Highness Dennis Fürst Blücher von Wahlstatt