The Best Polish Music Videos of 2019
default, The Best Polish Music Videos of 2019, Still from 'Pham - Golden State (feat. Ben Zaidi)' directed by Grajper, photo: Maciek Ryter / YouTube, center, golden-state-fot_maciek-ryter.jpg
Unpretentious depictions of tenderness, clips like something out of a crime series, and an homage to a photographer. Music videos from 2019 exist on both sides of the spectrum, some the work of large production companies while others are made of footage from vacation. What drew our attention this past year?
Barbara Wrońska - Dom z ognia i lodu (Official Video)
Dom z Ognia i Lodu by Barbara Wrońska
Director: Iza Klein // Cinematographer: Nicolas Villegas
The music video that accompanies Barbara Wrońska's track tells the story of multiple break-ups. The dancers try to embody people on either side of the end of a relationship. It's worth staying until the end to watch Wrońska's spirited dance. The singer commented on the scene:
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Through the whole music video I absorb the other characters' experiences, to then throw it out of myself through a strange, emotional dance. It's doubly important to me, because this is the first time I've ever danced in a music video! AAA!!!
Ofelia - Tu [Official Music Video]
Tu by Ofelia
Screenwriter & director: Wiktor Ejryszew // Cinematographer: Maciej Edelman
Though there are more questions than answers here, it's still a fascinating video. Both the filmmaker and editor played off pop culture aesthetics with surprising skill. A special mention goes to the ease it shows in formal and technical deftness.
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Hania Rani - Sun (Official Video) [Gondwana Records]
Sun by Hania Rani
Concept & footage: Bartek Warzecha // Editor: Marlena Jabłońska
This music video was created out of holiday footage the cinematographer Bartek Warzecha made during a trip to Crete.
I've been a guest to this island for a few years now, and I'm always enchanted by its beauty outside of tourist season. Its diversity seemed to directly correspond with Hania's work.
Bartek Warzecha, trans. AZ
Marlena Jabłońska was the video editor, searching for rays of light, subtle movements and natural design among the understated landscapes. Much was left to the imagination in these impressionistic images. The same as in Hania Rani's music, the most important thing here is the atmosphere.
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Seabed by Giss
Director: Zuza Barc // Cinematographer: Michał Sierakowski
Zuza Barc's directorial debut came about in Wałbrzych. This five-minute clip manages to create the atmosphere of a crime procedural taking place in a small city, in large part thanks to its cinematographer, who has proved just how cinematic Poland's suburbs and warehouses can be. Additional props go to the casting choices.
schafter - hot coffee
Hot Coffee by Schafter
Screenwriter & director: Grajper // Cinematography: Maciej Ryter
Here's a tale of youthful desire. The protagonist's face is smeared with red stains of either lipstick or blood. We voyeuristically watch when he dispassionately observes a striptease, hangs out with his friends on the roof of a high rise, and even when his fantasies are finally fulfilled. If you like Xavier Dolan's films, the skateboarding scene may remind you of something out of Mommy. The rich and colourful cinematography deserves its own mention.
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Syny - Nag Champa (Sen, Latarnia Rec. 2018)
Nag Champa by Syny
Screenwriter & director: Sebastian Pańczyk // Cinematographer: Marek Sanak
This short film about a search for a fog machine is a visual masterpiece – the culminated effort of dozens of people. Studio Dobro, part of Platige Image, was responsible for production. The video has no weak points, which may be the reason it received the Grand Prix at the PL Music Video Awards. From us, it receives an honourable mention for its interplay of literal and figurative imagery.
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Natalia Przybysz - Ogień (Official Video)
Ogień by Natalia Przybysz
Director: Ania Bajorek // Cinematographer: Agnieszka Kokowska
This music video is inspired by Justine Kurland's Girl Pictures, 1997-2002. It shows us a few dozen scenes of teenage girl adolescence. They're 'frozen' in place, as if existing outside of time – far from civilisation, in forests and prairies. It was a bold decision to create a music video so singularly inspired by a photography series, though it's turned out to be a hit – the images of teenage rites of passage fit well with the song's lyrics.
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Pale Path - Enemy - (Official Music Video)
Enemy by Pale Path
Director & editor: Aleksander Kropidłowski // Cinematographer: Tomasz Ziółkowski
This video is a black-and-white study of anger, taking place somewhere in Poland. The protagonist moves between home and work, meanwhile trying to establish a relationship with a girl. It all looks like a cross between A Short Film About Killing and Clerks. On the whole, it's well directed, well shot and well acted.
Mata - Patointeligencja
Patointeligencja by Mata
Director: Gabriel Szałyga i Mariusz Stykała // Cinematographer: Hubert Kuc
No other single from this past year has been as loud in the media. Multiple journalists (not only music critics), Mata's school director, politicians and TVP's editorial board have all made their opinions known. On top of that, lawyer Marcin Matczak, also known as Mata's father, added his own appeal:
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The original song's commentary on modern life was strengthened by its accompanying video, which features the uniforms of Stefan Batory Middle and High School. We can thank Dominika Lodzińska for this decision and others, which helped show off those 'raised in gated communities' who are 'sick of this warmth and beauty'. Mata's performance, full of bravura, takes place in a few choice locations – it was enough for the video to find itself on the list of most-watched Polish Youtube videos.
Pham - Golden State (feat. Ben Zaidi) [Official Music Video]
polish music videos
2019 in review
Golden State by Pham (feat. Ben Zaidi)
Director: Grajper // Cinematographer: Maciek Ryter
This music video shows vignettes from the lives of many people, underscored by a tenderness expressed through touching, looking and kissing. We also witness a lonely bath time and a cigarette on a balcony, a raucous house party in a kitchen, playing with a kitten and breast feeding. Poignant solitude mixes with roaring crowds. The video's creators were able to capture the wide palette of human emotion, beautifully set to Pham's music.
Originally written in Polish, Dec 2019, translated by AZ, Dec 2019
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