n the stylistically rich The Blue Note, Poland’s bad-boy film auteur Andrzej Zulawski chronicles the last 36 hours of Chopin’s life, which he spends at his lover George Sand’s estate in Nohant, France, surrounded by Sand (Marie-France Pisier), her daughter Solange (Sophie Marceau), and a group of friends who come to a party thrown by Sand, with author Ivan Turgenev, opera singer Pauline Viardot, and painter Eugene Delacroix among them. The once-passionate love between Chopin (Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak) and George Sand has gradually deteriorated along with Chopin’s creative powers. In the end, he writes down his very last note, which Sand poetically calls la note bleue. —Polish Cultural Institute
Andrzej Zulawski was born on the territory of what was then the U.S.S.R. in a Polish family with remarkable traditions in arts and literature. After World War II, his father’s diplomatic career brought the family to France (1945-1949), Czechoslovakia (1949-1952), and finally to Poland. He studied film direction at IDHEC in Paris (1957-1959) and philosophy at both Warsaw University (1961) and Université de Paris (1962-1964).
First, he assisted the famous Polish director Andrzej Wajda during the filming of Samson (1961), Popioly (1966), and the Warsaw episode of L’Amour à Vingt Ans (1962). In 1967, Zulawski directed two short films, Piesn Triumfujacej Milosci and Pavoncello, for Polish TV.
His feature debut, Trzecia Czesc Nocy (1971), as well as those previous films were co-scripted by his father, poet Miroslaw Zulawski. The picture was well received at the Venice Film Festival and awarded as the Best Debut in its homeland, but had only limited release due to Polish censorship… read more
A discussion with director for his first US retrospective.