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Lunar Futurism: Costumes, Props & Ephemera from Andrzej Żuławski's 'On the Silver Globe'


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EXHIBITION: Saturday 30th March - Saturday 13 April 2019, Mon - Sat, 12-6pm 

OPENING: 29th March 2019, 6pm 

SCREENING: Andrzej Żuławski's 'On the Silver Globe' (1988)

Friday 12th April 2019, 7pm

TALK & DISCUSSION: Lost in Transmission: readings, photos, recordings & recollections with Grażyna Dyląg, Andrzej Jaroszewicz, Adam Żuławski & Daniel Bird.

Saturday 13th April 2019, 7pm

This exhibition is part of 17th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival.


“A staggering feat of mise-en-scène.”

Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

Lunar Futurism is an exhibition featuring some of the surviving remnants from Andrzej Żuławski’s delirious science fiction masterpiece On the Silver Globe (1988).

An epic mix of futurism and primitivism, On the Silver Globe is the tale of the colonisation of another planet, adapted from three novels written by Andrzej Żuławski’s great uncle, Jerzy Żuławski, at the turn of the last century. To this day, it remains one of cinema’s most wildly imaginative works of science fiction.

Filmed during the mid-1970s, the sheer ambition of Żuławski’s cosmic epic is evident in the film’s baroque costumes and bold make-up designs. Along with his team, Żuławski travelled the breadth of the Soviet Union (the Gobi desert in Mongolia, the Causcasus Mountains) and repurposed locations in Communist era Poland (the Baltic coastline, Kraków’s Jewish district and the Wieliczka salt mines) to create startling (pre-CGI) alien landscapes.

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In the Spring of 1977, as production was nearing completion, the Vice-Minister of Culture halted the production. For almost a decade, the reels of film languished in the corridor of a film studio in Wroclaw…

During the mid-1980s, Żuławski was invited back to Poland (he had since relocated to France) to complete On the Silver Globe. He replaced the missing scenes with footage of contemporary Polish life along with a voice-over bridging gaps in the complex narrative, making a feature out of the absences, laying the blame on the ailing state sponsor. On the Silver Globe premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988 - almost thirteen years after production had commenced.  

For the first time outside of Poland, this exhibition presents three costumes from On the Silver Globe designed and realised by Magdalena Tesławska, who went onto collaborate with Żuławski on Boris Godunov, La Note bleue (The Blue Note), Szamanka (She-Shaman) and the infamous production of Stanisław Moniuszko’s Straszny dwór (The Haunted Manor). 

In addition to unfilmed pages of the shooting script, letters relating to the production and continuity photographs, the exhibition features interviews with Żuławski and Tesławska recorded by Daniel Bird between 2006 and 2010, and (for the first time in the UK) Krzysztof Lang’s Crash Landing (1988), an archival thirty-minute ‘making of’ documentary, made up from B-roll footage from the production and interviews with cast and crew.

Curated by Daniel Bird, Aleksandra Wiśniewska & The Horse Hospital, in association with Fixafilm and Kinoteka Polish Film Festival.

Costumes courtesy of the Audiovisual Technology Center (CeTA) in Wrocław.

For details on special events please see below.


Screening: 

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ANDRZEJ ŻUŁAWSKI'S 'ON THE SILVER GLOBE' (1988)

Friday 12th April 2019, 7pm, Admission: £10 advance / £8 concs

We are pleased to present the restored version of Andrzej Żuławski’s sci-fi masterpiece as part of the exhibition Lunar Futurism.

With Earth’s civilisation in decay, a team of astronauts are sent to populate a new planet. The last original survivor Jerzy (Jerzy Trela) is treated by the emergent feudal society as a demi-god, and sends a video diary back to Earth before his death. Hundreds of years later the video is found. Marek (Andrzej Seweryn) is sent to explore the planet, where the violent human civilisation is at war with telepathic bird-like people. He is treated like a messiah, but for how long? This epic deconstructed creation myth is both a premonition of the dystopian cinema of the 1980s (Mad Max etc.) and a commentary on a real world socialist utopia in its death throes…

Talk & Discussion:

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LOST IN TRANSMISSION

Readings, photos, recordings and recollections with Grażyna Dyląg, Andrzej Jaroszewicz, Adam Żuławski & Daniel Bird.

Saturday 13th April 2019, 7pm, Admission £10 advance / £8 concs

Who was Jerzy Żuławski? How did he come to write ‘the lunar trilogy’ upon which On the Silver Globe is based? What was it like being directed by Andrzej Żuławski? How was an expansive sci-fi world fashioned on a shoe-string budget? Why was the film shut down? How was it resurrected? Why, after more than forty years, is On the Silver Globe finding its audience?

Through readings, photos, recordings and recollections, the strange saga of On the Silver Globe is reconstructed, with the help of actor Grażyna Dyląg (Ihezal), cinematographer Andrzej Jaroszewicz, writer Adam Żuławski (Jerzy Żuławski’s grandson) and Daniel Bird (co-curator of the exhibition, co-producer of the restoration and co-author of the English subtitles with Andrzej Żuławski.

In addition to On the Silver Globe, Grażyna Dyląg acted in Andrzej Żuławski’s film about the dying days of Chopin’s romance with George Sand, La Note bleue (1991).

Andrzej Jaroszewicz collaborated with Andrzej Żuławski as camera operator and cinematographer on Diabeł, L’Important c’est d’aimer, Possession, Boris Godunov, La Note Bleue and Szamanka. He has recently filmed Mowa ptaków (Bird Talk), directed by Xawery Żuławski based on a screenplay by Andrzej Żuławski.

Adam Żuławski, the grand son of author Jerzy Żuławski, son of painter Marek Żuławski (whose book jackets for the ‘lunar trilogy’ are part of this exhibition), is a writer and an editor for culture.pl.

Between 2003 and 2016 Daniel Bird worked with Andrzej Żuławski on adapting subtitles into English, editing screenplays (Tiger), developing projects (Dark Matter) and co-producing restorations, including On the Silver Globe.

Aleksandra Wiśniewska is a dressmaker, art director and science fiction enthusiast based in Warsaw.