Maja Komorowska Turns 75
no-image, Maja Komorowska Turns 75
Known for her roles in films including Krzysztof Zanussi’s Cwał / At Full Gallop and Andrzej Wajda’s Panny z wilka / The Maids of Wilko, Polish actress Maja Komorowska celebrates her 75th birthday on the 23rd of December 2012.
at full gallop
the maids of wilko
Maja Komorowska, fot. Sumik Roman/ Filmoteka Narodowa/www.fototeka.fn.org.pl
"The theatre is more like real life. Film is more of an adventure", the director Krzysztof Zanussi said in an interview for Polityka magazine in 2008. The complexity of filmmaking reduces the actor's influence, he said, noting that "the better you play in a bad film, the worse it is."
Maja Komorowska was born on the 23rd of December 1937 in Warsaw. She graduated from the Kraków National Higher Theatre School in 1960, and started her theatre career in Kraków. Moving to Opole, she work at the 13 Row Theatre founded by Jerzy Grotowski then joined his Laboratorium Theatre in Wrocław until 1968. She joined the Contemporary Theatre in Warsaw early in the 1970s, which was then under Erwin Axer, playing in Edward Bond’s Lear, Thomas Bernhard’s A Party for Boris, Ernest Bryll’s Rzeczy listopadowej and Juliusz Słowacki’s Kordian.
One of her first films was Krzysztof Zanussi’s Góry o zmierzchu / Mountains at Dusk (1970). She soon became the director’s favourite actress because of her "sensitivity and expressiveness", playing in his Życie rodzinne / Family Life (1971). "On the set to Family Life her acting was stronger than the movie", the director said in an interview for the newspaper Rzeczpospolita,"and I had to cut out her best improvised scene when she tells her brother about her life. The scene was so heart-rending that if I hadn’t cut it out she would take all the attention."
Komorowska played in Tadeusz Konwicki’s film Jak daleko stąd, jak blisko / How Far, How Close to Here (1971), Edward Żebrowski’s Ocalenie / The Rescue (1972) and Zanussi’s Za ścianą / Behind the Wall (1972), in which she played a lonely, sensitive, failed academic, a role that won her an award at the San Remo film festival. She portrayed Rachel in Andrzej Wajda’s Wesele / The Wedding (1972) and played Marta in Zanussi’s Bilans kwartalny / Quarterly Balance (1974), for which she received the award for leading female role at the Polish Festival of Fiction Films, as she did for playing Idalia Dobrowolska in his At Full Gallop. She played Jola in Andrzej Wajda's Oscar-nominated Panny z wilka / The Maids of Wilko (1979).
Komorowska created memorable theatre roles in the 1990s. Among others, she played in Friedrich Duerrenmatt’s The Visit of the Old Lady directed by Wojciech Adamczyk, as the indomitable Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days directed by Antoni Libera, and in Krystian Lupa’s Wymazywanie.
She is active in culture and society, supporting the building of an oncological hospice in Warsaw and giving help to those detained during martial law in Poland, among other activities. She is a frequent guest at meetings of international citizens with Polish ancestry. She is the focus of Baraba Osterloff’s book Pejzaż. Rozmowy z Mają Komorowską / Landscape. Conversations with Maja Komorska, and wrote the book 31 dni maja / 31 days in May.
Komorowska received the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis in 2008, an award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She quoted Barbara Osterloff’s book on receiving the award:
Longing – that feeling accompanies us our entire lives, it influences what we do, it influences our searches, the further we are along the way, the longer the path gets, the more we go back to the years in which it was possible. Those returns to the memories, to the people that aren’t with us anymore, the feeling that something passed, that feeling of lacking is important. But we can try to fulfill it – is that not why we create? That’s the most important feeling of my life.
Sources: based on the Polish language article for culture.pl
Editor: Marta Jazowska