Walerian Borowczyk (September 2, 1923 – February 3, 2006) was a Polish film director. He directed 40 films between 1946 and 1988.
Born in Kwilcz, he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, then devoted himself to painting and lithography, including the creation of posters for the cinema, which earned him a national prize in 1953. In 1959, he settled in Paris.
His early films were surreal animations, some only a few seconds long, including several comic abecedaria. His most acclaimed early films were Był sobie raz (Time Upon a Once) (1957) and Dom (House) (1958, with Jan Lenica). In 1959, he worked with Chris Marker for Les Astronautes. Major works of this period include the stop motion film Renaissance (1963), which uses reverse motion to depict various destroyed objects (a prayer book, a stuffed toy, etc.) re-assembling themselves, only to be destroyed again when the last object (a bomb) is complete, and the nightmarish Jeux… read more
Borowcyzk's most critically acclaimed feature - a bittersweet medieval fantasy with gorgeous painterly compositions and aesthetics. Although I prefer his later, more extreme films, this is still worth a watch. I saw a ratty print of this in a dingy art theatre which no doubt added to its otherworldly appeal