Film director. Born on the 5th of December 1929 in Warsaw, and died on the 14th of June 1987 in Essen.
Bareja was one of the most controversial Polish directors. "I think I became a director just to shoot comedies", he said in an interview for Kino magazine in 1967. "He was never the filmmakers' or critics' golden boy", wrote Tomasz Przybyłkiewicz in Kino in 2001. "The [Polish] spiritual elite always despised comedy, considering it a sub-genre. [...] the humble comedian was mocked, denied the right to be acknowledged as an artist".
He graduated from the directing department at the Higher State School of Film, Television and Theatre in Lódź in 1954 (acquiring his diploma in 1974). Between 1955 and 1959 he worked as an assistant to Antoni Bohdziewicz and Jan Rybkowski, with whom he also collaborated as an assistant director, as he did with Tadeusz Makarczyński before debuting as a director in 1960.
Bareja’s first film, Mąż swojej żony / Husband of His Wife, told the story of a talented composer who marries a famous athlete and is perceived as the humble spouse, with sport more important to his compatriots than music. His next charade about love and matrimony was Żona dla Australijczyka / Wife for an Australian, in which Robert, a wealthy farmer, returns to Poland wanting to marry a beautiful, thrifty girl - but only having a few days to find her. A friendly journalist takes him to a performance of a popular band, and Robert meets Hanka, a chorus girl.
His third film, Małżeństwo z rozsądku / The Marriage of Convenience, contained traces of social commentary that became key in his later films. Hisearly works had been criticised for being unworldly and for a style stemming from pre-war cinema, but a new Bareja would emerge by the 1970s. He collaborated with the satirical actor Jacek Fedorowicz (a founder of the famous Bim-Bom student cabaret in the 1950s) on films including Małżeństwo z rozsądku / The Marriage of Convenience (1966) and Nie ma róży bez ognia / A Jungle Book of Regulations (1974), a comical critique of Polish housing problems. With the actor and writer Stanisław Tym, he made Brunet wieczorową porą / Brunet Will Call (1976), Co mi zrobisz jak mnie złapiesz / What Will You Do When You Catch Me? (1978) and Miś / Teddy Bear (1980), for which the director is best known. In Teddy Bear, an ironic comedy about the People's Republic of Poland, the passport of a sports club is destroyed by his wife and he is unable to go to London to withdraw money from his bank account.
Bareja’s first films were quite different from those from the eighties - Maciej Pawlicki writes in Film magazine. - The line of their evolution is clear, the meanders of this line speak volumes, not only about the history of Polish cinema, but generally about the history of our culture [...] Bareja's innocent comedies suddenly started facing serious problems. There were dozens of interferences with the screenplays and the completed films.
Bareja's later films concerned contemporary problem, not "antiquated comedies", yet critics were still upset by his work. The director spotted his films' surrealisms in the surrounding world. As Maciej Pawlicki writes "he showed us that our world was upside down and we all pretended not to see it, or maybe actually didn’t see it". His use of life experiences crossed boundaries with documentary cinema. Hanna Kotkowska-Bareja, the director’s wife, said: "He was always most inspired by reality [...], so his films often included parts of our lives – places, situations, events and often objects".
Called a "punching bag" in the title of an article at the time, Bareja also took a beating from his fellow directors. One coined the term "Bareism" in the 1960s, meaning commercialism and bad taste. But the epithet gradually developed a life of its own, becoming highly positive. After the director’s death in 1987, Maciej Pawlicki wrote "We harmed Bareja. We: a horde of film scribblers. [...] There was only one Bareja. The only one in his astounding pertinacity of recording the absurdities of everyday life".
Today, Bareja’s films are perceived as the most accurate picture of communism [in Poland] - Tomasz Przybyłkiewicz writes. - In our new, improved world which demands solid, therapeutic ridicule, hardly anyone is missed as much as Bareja.
Two decades after his death, his films are highly regarded, spawning jokes and phrases that have made their way into everyday Polish life. A Warsaw street was named for him in 2005, and he was posthumously awarded one of Poland's highest orders, the Order of Polonia Restituta, by President Kaczynski in 2006. Bareja's true ally, though, is the audience, who have gone to see his films in droves from the very beginning.
Brak podobnych artystów.