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A director is someone who owns the frying pan
Data publikacji: 2011-01-25
Robert Gliński - the stage director, the lecturer and Gdynia Film School teaching curriculum creator - asked by Monika Rogo about his views on the young cinematography perspectives, romantic comedies and frayes nerves of a contemporary filmmaker. 
A director is someone who owns the frying panQuentin Tarantino once said: '[...] when I’m writing a script, this is sacred to me; yet, when I’m making a movie, I fuck the script.'

I typically write a script three times. First time, it is a normal writing on paper before filming. During the filming, I write it for the second time. This is the moment Tarantino had in mind. During filming, lifeless frames are assuming real shapes and many new ideas are offered by actors or cameramen – the script is being filled with density. It is changing. The director needs to be open to these changes. I write the script for the third time during montage. As you can see, each script has three versions out of which the third one is the most important. This one goes to the screen. This is why Kieślowski loved the montage stage, which provides the final version of the movie. A script is not a Bible – you need to alter it. It is a raw material used to create a movie. It is not a finite form but should be constantly developed in the process of film making.

Is there a film genre which is mistreated or abandoned by the Polish filmmakers? And, on the contrary, are there any genres that Polish filmmakers specialize in?

Romantic comedy is a genre Polish filmmakers specialize in, or actually, attempt to specialize in. They only attempt as the outcomes are poor. None of the Polish romantic comedies is funny and there is very little romanticism in them. Polish romantic comedies have very much in common with soap operas – drama-like pulps of stumbling content. Therefore, the Polish cinematography actually specializes in... soap operas. Films for children have been practically abandoned. No ambitious movies for young viewers are created in Poland these days. Andrzej Maleszka creates something of this kind once in a while and he should be praised for this. Yet, one swallow does not make a summer.

What is the direction young filmmakers are heading to? Do you think that films that are being made now will be considered classic in the future?

Young filmmakers are different. Some of them are traditional diligently following the principles of art and staging clarity. Others, the so-called 'scatterbrains' believe that chaotic forms are of highest quality. Some are interested in history, others prefer contemporary topics. Some are lazy and need to be pushed to create a movie. Yet, there are also workhorses. Sometimes they make good movies and sometimes bad. Frankly speaking, they are exactly the same as they older colleagues. This is why I hit the roof when I hear about the division into young and old. The young are supposed to be fantastic while the old belong to the trash bin. It is a kind of racism. I have not encountered such division anywhere else in the world as it is simply not politically correct.
Therefore, I believe that a classic movie can be created by any director, no matter how old he or she is. The problem is that there is no clear-cut recipe for a classic movie. It is difficult to forsee whether a newly created movie will become classic or is damned for oblivion. During filming of the classic Rejs by Piwowski, everybody complained that this would be an awful flop. Also the comedies by Bareja are now considered classic and I remember that they were simply lambasted when they were first screened.

Is there someone among the young directors who will make a big career and create movies significant to the Polish cinematography?

The only way to be successful is... to create movies. To create a significant movie you simply need to make movies. Eventually, one of them might turn out to be a success. Therefore, you should simply ask the question who of the young directors will continue to make movies. Which of them is stubborn enough and has elephant’s skin? Which of them will not be frustrated after a bad review? Which of them will fight for the proper budget? I believe there are a number of such people but I shall not list their names here. I simply do not want to bring bad luck.

What should a Polish film be like to stand a chance of winning international film festivals?

If I knew this... I would not tell you. But I don’t know. I think it should be a movie about us, about our problems, our affairs and our uniqueness. If such uniqueness really exists. Film festival selectors are looking for such movies. And the prizes? They depend on many factors, but largely on the preference of the Jury. Let’s keep in mind that prizes do not say much about the movies.

What is the level of knowledge and maturity of graduates who attempt to pass film-school entry exams? Are they prepared for such mode of studying?

The level of graduates is miserable. They are not eager to learn about the world, the literature or the cinematography. They don’t know who wrote Crime and Punishment but they do know where DJ Komo is playing tonight. They drink beer instead of vodka and go to bed before midnight because they are tired. The high school graduates of my youth discussed until dawn about 'the starry sky above me' and myriads of other issues. These days, graduates are not involved in such things and when they hear 'Kant', they understand 'can’t'.

Does the scientific title obtained at the film school mean anything in the film-making industry?

The scientific title has nothing to do with creating movies. Wojciech Has had not even graduated from high-school and he made marvelous movies. However, the scientific title is indispensable if someone wants to become a lecturer.

How do you recognize a full-grown film-maker?

I’m not sure what creature is that – a full-grown film-maker? At first, I associated it with a full-grown apple. A one that has already started to rot here and there. Therefore, a full-grown film-maker is a tired one, someone who has already created a number of movies.And creating movies is a hard work, sometimes physical. You need to stand up at 5 a.m, hustle around the setting like crazy throughout the day, watch the materials in the evening or establish something with the actors. And on the following day – the same story again from dawn. And the result – you are fully-grown, have dark shades around your eyes and frayed nerves. If you make movies, you become full-grown very quickly... If you do not make movies, you become full-grown because you are stressed out because of it. In other words, vicious circle.

Would you say that the profession of a filmmaker is still elite at the age of ubiquitous technology?

There is an opinion that anyone can make a movie. It is enough to buy a camera, gather some friends who will act for you, and there you go – you have a movie. I don’t believe this is the case.If we have eggs and fat, we don’t have scrambled eggs yet. We need to have a frying pan and heat. A director is someone who owns the frying pan, i.e. the skills. He knows how to use the eggs and the fat to obtain new quality from them. And above all, he has got the heat. Without the heat you will never obtain the scrambled eggs. The heat is the talent, the energy, the emotions and the personality. Therefore, I believe that not everybody is able to make movies.

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