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Innocent Sorcerers - Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

The French New Wave meets postwar Warsaw in this freewheeling boy-meets-girl comedy about a bohemian doctor-cum-jazz-drummer and his long, crazy night with a gamine beauty (Krystyna Stypulkowska in her screen debut). An early Andrzej Wajda gem, Innocent Sorcerers boasts an all-star cast of Polish cinematic luminaries, including Roman Polanski as a squeaky-voiced jazz band leader, Jerzy Skolimowski (also the film’s co-screenwriter) as a disgruntled boxer, Zbigniew Cybulski as an irascible taxi driver, and composer Krzysztof Komeda as, well, himself. A subtle ode to the modern world, with its electric razors, motorscooters and casual sex, Innocent Sorcerers is a fascinating time capsule of a generation.

1960, 88 minutes, black and white, DCP | Written by Jerzy Andrzejewski, Jerzy Skolimowski; directed by Andrzej Wajda; with Tadeusz Lomnicki, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Wanda Koczeska, Kalina Jedrusik, Teresa Szmigielówna, Roman Polanski.

The Promised Land

Night Train - Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
A scene from THE PROMISED LAND, 1959.

Introduction by: Janusz Kaminski
In turn-of-the-century Łódź , three friends — a Polish nobleman, Karol Borowiecki; a German, Max Baum; and a Jew, Moritz Welt — shrink from nothing, including treachery and fraud, to build an industrial empire. In the footsteps of Dickens, writer-director Andrzej Wajda paints a bleak, sprawling picture of a chaotic city littered with dangerous factories and a maelstrom of conflicting cultures and classes. Based on the novel by Nobel Laureate Władysław Stanisław Reymont, Wajda’s lavish production masterfully melds the luxurious and the brutal. As his ruthless business tactics and an ill-fated affair leave Borowiecki with a fateful choice — either change his ways or sacrifice all compassion in order to protect his financial capital — Wajda’s film joins the ranks of darkly grand masterworks by Visconti and Ophüls. The Promised Land was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film and won numerous prizes including the Grand Prix Golden Lion from the Polish Film Festival.

1975, 170 minutes, color, DCP | Written by Andrzej Wajda, based on the novel by Władysław Stanisław Reymont; directed by Andrzej Wajda; with Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Nehrebecka, Tadeusz Bialoszczynski, Bozena Dykiel.

Martin Scorsese has curated a selection of landmark Polish films, all newly restored, from some of the country's most accomplished and lauded filmmakers, such as Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Jerzy Kawalerowicz and Wojciech Has. Zanussi will appear in person as the Academy launches the series on May 2 with a screening of two of his films: the acidic college comedy Camouflage and the stirring drama The Constant Factor. The remaining series spans 1957–1987 and encompasses the mind-bending absurdism of The Hourglass Sanatorium, the noir-tinted existentialism of Night Train, the New Wave eccentricities of Innocent Sorcerers, the period elegance of The Promised Land and much more. In partnership with the Cinefamily, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen 19 of Scorsese's 21 selections across two venues and over two months.

Organized by Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory, CRF and The Film Foundation, in cooperation with Kino RP, Milestone Films, Tor, Zebra and Kadr, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Film Institute and the Polish National Audiovisual Institute.

The series runs from May 2 through June 24. For more screenings, please visit our Events page.


Event Information

Friday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Bing Theater
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

$5 general admission
$3 Academy members, LACMA Film Club members and students with a valid ID.

*These prices include admission to both screenings on May 16.
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