15 Corners Of The World: Film for the ears
by Dorota Hartwich
- Awarded last year at Locarno and the New Horizons Festival, Zuzanna Solakiewicz’s documentary was released in theatres today
Centred around Eugeniusz Rudnik, an experimental composer who is considered the creator of electro-acoustic music in Poland, the documentary 15 Corners Of The World [+see also:
film profile] by Zuzanna Solakiewicz, which was awarded the Critics’ Week Award at Locarno last year and received a special mention when it was screened in the Films on Art section of the New Horizons Festival, was released in theatres today, under the distribution of Endorfina Studio.
Born in 1932, Eugeniusz Rudnik has composed more than 90 musical works, most notably in the studios of Warsaw, Stockholm, Cologne, Paris, Bourges and Brussels. In 1955, he got a job with Polish national radio and, as he had been trained as an electronic engineer, he was offered a job working in an experimental studio, the only one of its kind at that time in the Eastern bloc (there were 4 studios of this kind in operation in Europe at the time). He started out helping composers on a technical level, cutting and pasting magnetic strips and using tape recorders and recordings to create pieces of music, then going on to become an artist and composer himself. Some of the greats he has assisted include Krzysztof Penderecki, Wlodzimierz Kotonski, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Arne Nordheim and even Karlheinz Stockhausen, who offered him a job as his assistant, which Rudnik turned down out of passion for pursuing his research in Poland.
The director of short films and documentaries like Cabaret Poland (2008), So, It Goes (2010) and Yorzeit (2012), Zuzanna Solakiewicz chose to go beyond simply making a biography of Rudnik, portraying the music of the composer through images as opposed to simply showing off his work. The film is a sort of tribute, not only to him as a person but to experimental music of this type as well, composed from snippets of acoustic music. And as this music is a collage, the filmmaker uses the same form, putting everything together using fragments that are not at all obvious choices at the outset, which are chosen subjectively and are sometimes rather abstract.
A Polish-German co-production via Endorfina Studio and Hupe Film, 15 Corners Of The World has been supported by the Polish Film Institute and the NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia) fund. The cinematography was taken care of by Zvika Gregory Portnoy.
(Translated from French)