>Nowa Książka (New Book)

>Over at Andy Horbal’s blog he discusses, among other things, the Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski. Andy’s post reminded me of Rybczynski’s 1975 short film New Book (Nowa Książka), which is a film I showed in a media studies course about 18 years ago. I had almost forgotten that wonderful little experimental film.

Here is the film. It might take a while to load because it is coming from a Chinese web site.

One thing that makes this film technically remarkable is the fact that this was made before the advent of digital video or non-linear editing systems. Each of the nine individual screens had to be synced up with each other without (I presume) the benefit of timecode. One can see how the action will sometimes speed up or slow down just slightly in individual screens as though being adjusted for the pacing of the other screens. I also love the soundtrack.

More importantly, New Book is an interesting look, albeit limited, at life in communist Poland in the mid 1970s (and not that I know much about that). As one follows the man in the red coat through the various screens from the upper left to the lower right and back, one also watches his apartment while he is gone. Who is the man in the red coat? What is this new book he is carrying? What is going on in his apartment while he is away?

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