Like John Ford and Roberto Rossellini, Andrzej Wajda was anointed from his arrival on the world stage as the official film-maker of his country; the artist whose works best interpreted the dynamic changes of his nation’s history. Born in 1926 to an army officer and a school teacher, Wajda’s family was progressive in matters of culture and education. As it would for many young men of his generation, Wajda’s life was permanently altered by the Nazi Invasion of Poland in 1939; the event which marked the official start of the Second World War. Wajda went into hiding with his mother while his father was drafted into active duty. It was only in 1989 that Wajda received confirmation that his father was murdered in the Katyn Forest Massacre; an event which informed his 2007 film Katyn.
After the war, Wajda studied painting at the Kraków School of Fine Arts. However, Wajda became restless with his chosen medium and became inspired by reports of the formation of the National Film School… read more
Is this MUBI worthy?: The Conductor/Dyrygent. Andrzej Wajda, 1980, 102 min. Shooting in the U.S. for the first time, Wajda tells the story of John/Jan Lasocki (John Gielgud), an internationally famous orchestra conductor who emigrated from his native Poland 50 years ago. Marta (Krystyna Janda), the daughter of his first love, seeks him out, creating an interest Lasocki has not known in years. He even agrees to return to Poland and conduct the provincial orchestra in which Marta was a featured soloist. That’s hardly welcome news to Adam (Andrzej Seweryn), Marta’s husband and the orchestra’s regular conductor, who’s rumored to have gotten his position thanks to party connections. A meditation on the grey area between art and life.