Skalny Film Screening and Lecture
Piwowski's Krok (The Parade Step, 1997): To Whose Step Does Poland Step?
Dr. Don Fredericksen
Professor of Film
Cornell University
Saturday March 24
3:00 pm
Hoyt Auditorium, UR River Campus
Free and open to the public
Piwowski's Krok (The Parade Step, 1997): To Whose Step Does Poland Step?
Dr. Don Fredericksen
Professor of Film
Cornell University

The lecture includes a screening of the 25-minute film Krok, by Marek Piwowski:
The Polish authorities get to hear that they do not like the Polish military parade step at NATO headquarters. This calls for an appointment of a special committee for elaborating a step "with which Poland will march into EU." The committee meeting scene leaves no doubt as to the film being a comedy in documentary disguise.

Piwowski's wacky faux-documentary is an example of the "documentary of liminality," which reflects the middle stage in rites of passage for individuals and nations. It provides a means by which Poles can reflect upon what new post-communist self-definition they wish to embrace.

Dr. Fredericksen is a professor of film at Cornell University and a psychotherapist, with a close on-going connection with Polish scholars. He has lectured frequently in Poland since 1998, and has co-edited books on film and music and on the psychological analysis of culture with Polish colleagues. He has served on the jury at the Krakow Short Film Festival and the Camerimage Festival. In 2007 he co-authored the first book-length study of Andrzej Wajda's Kanał with Marek Hendrykowski, professor of film in Poznań, which includes a prologue and afterword by Wajda. He regularly teaches a course on modern Polish film history.

Marek Piwowski is a director, journalist and screenwriter. He studied navigation at the Moscow Marine School, journalism at the University of Wrocław, and film directing at the Łódź Film School. Piwowski has been a miner, farm laborer, journalist at the "Nowa Kultura" Magazine, and a lecturer at the New York University in New York, NY. He has acted in films made by such directors as Skolimowski, Zanussi, Morgenstern, Zygadło, and even in his own films. He is a member of the American Film Institute. Piwowski, whose films address socially important issues and whose emotional involvement contrasts with the formal asceticism and dry communication of messages which is characteristic of his pictures, can be placed within what is called the "involved cinema" in Polish filmmaking. His documentaries accommodate both literal and metaphorical meanings which belong more in made-up features than investigative documentaries. Piwowski himself explains his approach to documentary films in the following way:
"I need the documentaries to take a close look at people. [...] What fascinates me most in the documentary film are the portraits of people, the things which happen on their faces. [...] Perhaps some scenes in my films suggest that I treat people like an entomologist when examining his insect specimens.[...] Stupidity is more flavoursome food for artistic matter, than correctness and norm.”


Hoyt Auditorium, UR River Campus
Free and open to the public