Author, screenwriter and actor, born Iwan Himilsbach in Mińsk Mazowiecki, in 1931. The son of a Russian mother and unknown father, he passed away in Warsaw, in 1988.
Author, screenwriter and actor, born Iwan Himilsbach in Mińsk Mazowiecki, in 1931.
His date of birth is not known. Himilsbach gave the date of November 31, 1931 and that is the date cited in the "Contemporary Authors and Literary Critics / Współcześni pisarze i badacze literatury" vol. 3 reference work. But this date cannot be accurate, because it does not exist on any calendar. He was baptized late, taking the name Jan in 1943, after the death of his mother in 1942, and it is on his baptism certificate that the fictional date of birth is first recorded. During the occupation, he fought the occupiers as he could and as were many other youths his age, that is, by robbing eastbound transports. He had his first run-in with the authorities in 1947. After serving a sentence at a correctional home in Szubiń, he began working as a stoneworker at a quarry in the town of Strzegom. Later, he attended a School of Industrial Training and worked as a borer in the "Gift of God" mine in Kostuchno. He then relocated to Gdynia, where he worked as a longshoreman and then as a stoker on fishing cutter boats. In 1951, he came to Warsaw and began working at the Center for the Conservation of Monumental Architecture, then as a stoker for the Vistula River Transport. At the same time, he attended a university preparatory course, going on to study at the District University of Marxism-Leninism and working in the Warsaw office of the Association of Polish Youth (ZMP). In 1954-56, he completed his compulsory military service. In 1956-68, he worked in a private stone working company at the historic Powązki cemetery in Warsaw.
He made his poetry debut in 1951, and then in prose in 1959. He published three collections of prose writings: The Miniature Portrait / Monidło (1967), Shoving Match / Przepychanka (1974) and The Sheriff's Tears / Łzy sołtysa (1983). He made his acting debut in the famed The Cruise / Rejs (1970), in which he and Zdzisław Maklakiewicz formed an inimitable comic duo. Earlier, in 1969, Himilsbach's prose (The Miniature Portrait / Monidło) was adapted for the screen for the first time. He is the writer or co-writer of 6 screenplays and has played in close to 70 films and television productions. Several posthumous collections of Himilsbach's writings (selections of published material, as well as previously unpublished works) appeared posthumously: Underwater Cliffs and Other Miniature Portraits / Zatopione skały i inne monidła (2002), My Dizzying Career / Moja oszałamiająca kariera (2003), Heaven on Earth and Other Stories / Raj na ziemi i inne historie (2003) and, in 2006, a selection of Himilsbach writings appeared in German translation, under the title The World of Jan Himilsbach / Die Welt des Jan Himilsbach / Świat Jana Himilsbacha, in Munich.
Jan Himilsbach's acting work was not recognized through jury awards, although he did receive high-profile recognition when he was named the co-winner of the Golden Mask (shared with the formidable Daniel Olbrychski) by the readers of "The Evening Express" for achievement in acting, for his performance in The Cruise / Rejs, under the direction of Marek Piwowski. More recently, copious accolades were garnered by the biographical feature by Stanisław Manturzewski and Małgorzata Łupina Himilsbach: Truths, Tall Tales and Black Holes / Himilsbach. prawdy, bujdy, czarne dziury, which received the Grand Prix at the 2002 44th Short Film Festival in Cracow.
Himilsbach had been first and foremost a stoneworker (working at Warsaw's Powązki Cemetery) and that was for him an important source of pride, but also a way to distinguish himself among the usual literary and artistic circles.
Himilsbach's literary debut (The Miniature Portrait / Monidło), published by the prestigious State Publishing Institute, became a literary sensation that shook the writing world. It was difficult to draw a clear distinction between the text and its author, just as it would be difficult, later, to tell whether in his film roles Himilsbach was playing characters or whether he was playing Himilsbach. Maria Malatyńska wrote:
What fortunate alignment of stars should we thank for Jan Himilsbach's irruption into Polish cinema when it was most in need of him?
She listed the "junctures of fate" that she felt resulted in his screen career. The first was Himilsbach's unique persona: a stoneworker by trade
with a tired, solemn face that itself seemed chiseled out of stone, with a workman's gait and unpretentious garb, with a hoarse voice that betrayed cigarettes and drink, with quick, intelligent eyes and with a personal history... all steeped in the everyday life of a writer. Consequently - thought Malatyńska - Himilsbach was a type that was ready-made for the screen ("Katalog 'Świat Jana Himilsbacha' / Catalogue 'Himilsbachs Welt' ", red. Iwona Mickiewicz, Martin Sander, Lipsk 2006).
The second "juncture" was good timing.
At the end of the 1960s, Polish cinema was searching for its own take on contemporary reality in the same way it might gasp for air.
After the "Polish school" period, Polish cinema "did not know how to chronicle the everyday." And then this unassuming stoneworker pulled the "Polish school" romantic heroes down from their literary heights "onto the level of everyday, simple life."
The third "juncture" was the right creators, in the persons of The Cruise / Rejs directors and writers Janusz Głowacki and Marek Piwowski, in whose film Himilsbach made his acting debut. He was cast "as he was", without make-up or preparation, "with his natural disposition, facial features, bearing and manner of speech."
At the time, there was a global trend to cast untrained actors. Filmmakers wanted to take on people from the street, rather than professional actors. [...] Himilsbach's face, his wonderful naturalism – directors immediately to took to it, wanted to use it – said director Krzysztof Wierzbicki (conversation with Martin Sander, quoted in "Catalogue / Katalog", cited above).
There are parallels to be drawn with Zbigniew Buczkowski, who made his debut as an untrained actor in the films of Janusz Kondratiuk, beginning with Girls for the Taking / Dziewczyny do wzięcia, which also brought to the screen two untrained actresses: Regina Regulska and Ewa Pielach (by sheer coincidence, Buczkowski and Regulska both came from the Warsaw suburb of Piaseczno). Since his debut, Zbigniew Buczkowski has pursued and continues to exercise a professional acting career, but his two co-stars, although they did play in several other films, largely remained who they were: young women, who were momentarily transported from their state agricultural collective onto the silver screen.
Jan Himilsbach, who played alongside the same two actresses in Heaven-Bound / Wniebowzięci, had similar experiences, but his career had took its own particular turns. Perhaps this was because he didn't represent a particular social category, or a particular region, or particular difficulties, but was a personality that brought quite a bit more to the screen. A personality that consciously formed itself and its image, in which the screen persona and real life person became indistinguishable.
According to Maria Malatyńska Himilsbach
He didn't create characters – he was a character. And when he acted, films gained a real, rather than imagined, life.
The film and literary critic, Krzysztof Mętrak, expressed a similar view:
Now, I know that Himilsbach was his own greatest literary creation. [...] Was he a good actor? He didn't need to be: in film, "presence" is the most important thing, not the role. True, at a certain point, acting provided him with a new reality. But what counted on film was his distinctive look, characteristic voice, talent for improvisation and sense of situational humor. In 1971, I attended the Pesaro (Italy) film festival, where they screened Piwowski's "The Cruise / Rejs". As soon as Jasio's [Himilsbach's] face popped onto the screen, a murmur spread through the crowd: Spencer Tracy, Spencer Tracy. ("Tygodnik Kulturalny", December 4, 1988)
Janusz Głowacki says that Himilsbach came onto the Polish movie scene at a time when audiences had become disinterested in the stagecraft of the Polish school of acting.
then, all of a sudden, after "The Cruise / Rejs", the highest prize for acting was co-awarded to Daniel Olbrychski, the most acclaimed actor in Poland, and Jan Himilsbach, who had never played anyone, who was just himself. ("Kino" 3/1974)
In an interview with Andrzej Markowski, published shortly after The Cruise / Rejs premiered, Himilsbach commented his acting in the film I talked how I do in real life, I moved how I do in real life ("Film" 10/1971). He also talked about the famous scene in which his character discusses the state of Polish cinema with the engineer Mamoń (Zdzisław Maklakiewicz) and during which he can't get a word in crosswise:
Honestly, I was really talking a lot when we filmed that, but Marek [Piwowski, dir.] was constantly interrupting and hushing me. I became really angry – and that's how I got that expression. To top it off, I was thirsty as heck and behind the camera, right in front of me, there was a guy was sipping on a cold beer. And I didn't like the fat lady playing my wife that I had to sit beside, either.
We may have to accord Himilsbach a measure of comic license for that account, as we must also do with his autobiographical stories, which he often altered "so as not to bore the readers." But there is something more profound there, too.
Himilsbach was essentially the same in every film he made - wrote Lech Kurpiewski. He didn't so much "act", as he just "was". He was himself. There was little to distinguish the Himilsbach on the screen from the one who, in the early 1970s, could be seen strolling along Warsaw's Krakowskie Przedmieście boulevard or at the Harenda club, a popular destination with students from the neighboring University of Warsaw, where he would sit for hours and organize boozy "happenings", often inviting Gypsy music bands and always surrounded by a flock of younger fans and older eccentrics. ("Film" 36/1992)
According to Kurpiewski, Himilsbach's most interesting films roles came during the 1970s in such productions as Heaven-Bound / Wniebowzięci, How it's Done / Jak to się robi and Far From the Highway / Daleko od szosy. With Zdzisław Maklakiewicz, Himilsbach formed an inimitable duo. Jerzy Hołub describes them:
Their duo really became a distinct value of "The Cruise" in its own right [...] The common-sense proletarian and the pretentious intellectual. ("Film" 4/2000)
He often appeared in short scenes, even sketches. But each one of those scenes reinforced the realism of the films in which he took part. For example, his short scene in To Kill This Love / Trzeba zabić tę miłość by Janusz Morgenstern has remained more vivid in the public consciousness that have many other, longer, performances.
Not everyone knew how to exploit his unique qualities, however. As noted by Małgorzata Hendrykowska, certain directors "without intuition" dubbed over his throaty, gruff voice, which was so much part and parcel of his unwieldy, gnarled physique ("Annals of Polish Cinematography / Kronika kinematografii polskiej 1895-1997", Poznań 1999).
What remains most important, is that his appearances in films frequently elevated otherwise mediocre productions. Jerzy Hołub wrote:
The majority [...] of films in which Himilsbach appeared were not made to the same standards as the mainstream cinema of the 1970s and 1980s: wooden dialogue, paper-thin-characters, contrived situations. But these films came to life when into the shot came a short, thickset man in a flannel shirt and creased pants, with a rolled up newspaper in one pocket. Even the most hackneyed phrases had new meaning and depth in Himilsbach's scruffy delivery. It's as if real life made its way onto the screen in those brief moments. When Himilsbach exited from the shot, so did truth. The more unskilled the directors, the more readily they sought after Himilsbach.
What was Himilsbach's on-screen persona?
Most often it was the stock "simple man", from somewhere among the lower rungs of social hierarchy, but not from the margins of society, as some would have it. [...] Among the central principles of personal dignity to which Himilsbach, the actor, adhered was not only his screen presence, but also his mode of speech (he frequently improvised dialogues on the set!). (Lech Kurpiewski, "Film" 36/1992)
The character he played - wrote Kurpiewski – was not a part of the presented reality, but rather a counterpoint to it. In his facial expressions, as well as in his words and the way in which he said them, Himilsbach placed himself, as it were, in opposition to the real, but gray and mundane, everyday existence. In distancing himself from it, he somehow unmasked and ridiculed it.
Jan Himilsbach's film work also included script and screenwriting (sometimes co-writing the projects on which he acted).
Himilsbach's contribution to the script was undeniable - Maciej Łuczak wrote about "Heaven-Bound / Wniebowzięci". The language and speech of the "heaven-bound" came from him. That's how the script ended-up with so many colloquial, street slang (and untranslatable) expressions: idziemy w kimę – "we're goin' all out"; ty tam nic nie majtluj – "don't you scheme around over there"; coś ty tak pokitrał te pieniądze – "what'd you get all the money confused for". Just by the fact of using this language, the film's characters signal their independence and show that they are outside the official world in which socialist-realist ‘newspeak' was prescribed. [...] Only once in empty space do they feel free [the plot revolves around two middle-aged, rural lottery winners who spend their winnings on a first-time airplane trip], although not completely. Their "ascension" must take place within Polish air-space [...] they, of course, do not have passports. ("Heaven-Bound, or how to make a Hydropuzzle / Wniebowzięci, czyli jak to się robi hydrozagadkę", Warszawa 2002)
I particularly like how Himilsbach wrote dialogues. Reading them, you have the feeling that you're listening in on a conversation on a tram rolling along Targowa street in Warsaw's Praga [poor, tough and street-smart neighborhood]. (Jerzy Hołub, "Film" 4/2000)
Janusz Głowacki calls Himilsbach the Francziszek Fiszer [turn of the century intellectual figure and man-about-town] of contemporary Warsaw, a profane and plebeian Fiszer, as opposed to the other, aristocratic and philosophizing, one. And there is truth in that. There are still hundreds of anecdotes that circulate to this day, relating quotes from Himilsbach's conversations and situations involving his participation in some unfailingly anti-conventional way – so that, even though he's been gone 20 years, sometimes you could swear that he's still strolling down Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw. We can almost hear his scruff voice and see him sitting at a table on one the little spots along Krakowskie, quaffing a beer (or likely something stronger) behind his wife Basica's back and against doctor's orders. Perhaps we really do hear him?
Everyone tells me: Janek, stop drinking and quit smoking. Basica threatens to leave me if I don't stop, the doctor says I'll be leaving this world if I don't stop. Everyone's warning against this and that, but when you've got the will power, you'll always find a way to drink and smoke.
Asked what fame means to him, in 1985, Himilsbach answered:
Oh yeah, Sława Przybylska [tongue in cheek, the name Sława means ‘fame' in Polish]. I met her just recently on the old town, but she didn't look at all like Fame. Me? I don't really have to do anything anymore. I'm only waiting on time. Whether people agree with it or not, whether they like it or not, I'll be part of history. Everyone wants to achieve fame. Some wash dishes, some play in orchestras, but one day they'll all leave the scene. Me, I'll remain here like a mummy. A pickled Ramses II. That's fame. (M. Hendrykowska, "Annals of Polish Cinematography", cited above)
Jan Himilsbach was not a professional actor, yet his performances are a part of the history of Polish cinema. Small wonder, then, that he was known as the "prince of the amateurs".
Today, too, we can see many untrained actors, especially in the mass produced television series, soap operas and sitcoms. But they flash, flicker and disappear. Because what matters most today is not what they can bring to the screen, as did Himilsbach, but rather the low wages with which they elbow out the professionals.
Student films - actor:
- 1974 – "Easter / Wielkanoc", fiction short, dir. Ewa Kot.
- 1986 - "The Event / Zdarzenie", fiction short, dir. Antoni Borzewski.
Short and documentary films - actor:
- 1974 – "Easter / Wielkanoc", fiction, dir. Ewa Kot.
- 1975 – "Habit / Nałóg", documentary, dir. Marek Piwowski.
- 1976 – "Carpenter / Stolarz", documentary, dir. Wojciech Wiszniewski (role: voice).
- 1977 – "Déjà Vu or Where have we Seen This Before / Deja vu czyli skąd my to znamy", fiction, dir. Krzysztof Gradowski (role: professor).
- 1980 – "Breaking Abstinence / Przerwanie abstynencji", documentary, dir. Zbigniew Rebzda.
- 1980 – "Drown / Toń", fiction, dir. Janusz Bujak.
- 1986 – "Admonition / Upomnienie", fiction, dir. Lesław Wilk (cameo).
- 1986 – "Collision / Zderzenie", dir. Antoni Borzewski (role: man lying on grass).
Fiction films - screenwriter:
- 1973 – "Reception for ten, plus three / Przyjęcie na dziesięć osób plus trzy", dir. Jerzy Gruza, also dubbing voice (Antoni Konarek: worker "45 years old and going on 60").
- 1973 - "Heaven-Bound / Wniebowzięci", dir. Andrzej Kondratiuk, script with Andrzej Kondratiuk, also actor (role: Lutek).
- 1974 – "Our Daily Bread / Chleba naszego powszedniego, television production, dir. Janusz Zaorski, script with Janusz Zaorski, also actor (role: Jakubiak, former worksite superintendent).
- 1980 – "Party by Candlelight / Party przy świecach", television prduction, dir. Antoni Krauze, also actor (role: Zenon Minkowski, "Niuniek's" boss' neighbor).
- 1984 – "Playing Hide and Seek / Zabawa w chowanego", television production, dir. Janusz Zaorski, also actor (role: patron).
- 1987 – "Eleventh Commandment / Jedenaste przykazanie", television production, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk, script with Janusz Kondratiuk.
Fiction films - actor:
- 1970 – "The Cruise / Rejs", dir. Marek Piwowski (role: Sidorowski).
- 1970 – "Prince for a Season / Książę sezonu", television production, dir. Witold Orzechowski (role: worker).
- 1971 – "Shortcut / Na przełaj", television production, dir. Janusz Łęski (role: religious goods salesman).
- 1971 – "Exit Point / Punkt wyjścia", television production, dir. Jerzy Sztwiertnia (role: Gliński, patient).
- 1971 – "Scorpio, Virgo and Sagittarius / Skorpion, panna i łucznik", dir. Andrzej Kondratiuk, (role: master).
- 1972 – "Girls for the Taking / Dziewczyny do wzięcia", television production, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk (role: waiter).
- 1972 – "Fern Flower / Kwiat paproci", dir. Jacek Butrymowicz (cameo) (unreleased).
- 1972 – "Moving / Przeprowadzka", dir. Jerzy Gruza (role: Matraszek, moving company employee; Antoni Konarek).
- 1972 – "Seven Red Roses or Benek the Florist, On Himself and Others / Siedem czerwonych róż czyli Benek Kwiaciarz o sobie i o innych", television production, dir. Jerzy Sztwiertnia (role: successor to Benek the Florist – novella: "Benek the Florist / Benek Kwiaciarz").
- 1972 – "The Lake of Mysteries / Jezioro osobliwości", dir. Jan Batory (role: delinquent beside phone booth).
- 1972 – "Trzeba zabić tę miłość / To Kill This Love", dir. Janusz Morgenstern (role: worksite superintendent).
- 1973 – "The Gypsy / Cygan" (5) in "I'm Betting on Tolek Banana / Stawiam Na Tolka Banana", television series, dir. Stanisław Jędryka (role: man hassling Tomek in a café).
- 1973 – "Dog / Pies", television production, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk, (role: older doorman).
- 1974 – "How It's Done / Jak to się robi", dir. Andrzej Kondratiuk (role: Narożny, "writer").
- 1974 – "The Story of a Certain Love / Historia pewnej miłości", television production, dir. Wojciech Wiszniewski (role: Edek's supervisor; uncredited).
- 1974 – "Koniec wakacji / The End of the Holiday", dir. Stanisław Jędryka (role: man with puppy at train station).
- 1974 – "Maturing Time / Czas dojrzewania", dir. Mieczysław Waśkowski (role: doorman).
- 1974 - "Nie ma róży bez ognia / A Jungle Book of Regulations", dir. Stanisław Bareja (role: worksite superintendent).
- 1974 – "The Trap / Pułapka" (3) in "S. O. S.", television series, dir. Janusz Morgenstern (role: Płoszczak, camping employee in Stegny).
- 1974 - "Wiosna panie sierżancie / It is Spring, Sergeant", dir. Tadeusz Chmielewski (role: Leon Marchelczyk, carpenter).
- 1975 – "Others' Woes or Witness for the Defense / Cudze nieszczęście czyli świadek obrony" (11) in "The Forty-Year-Old / 40-latek", television series, dir. Jerzy Gruza, (role: Skorupko).
- 1975 – "Man of Letters / Literat" (7) in "Obrazki z życia / Pictures from Life", television series, alternating directors, ep. 7 dir. Barbara Sass-Zdort (role: fraudulent man of letters).
- 1976 - "Brunet wieczorową porą / Brunet will call", dir. Stanisław Bareja (role: Mr Jasio).
- 1976 – "Is There an Eligible Girl Here / Czy jest tu panna na wydaniu", television production, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk (role: guard in a work plant).
- 1976 - "Motylem jestem czyli romans 40-latka / I'm a Butterfly", dir. Jerzy Gruza, (role: drunkard beside phone booth).
- 1976 – "The Most Tranquil Place in the World / Najspokojniejsze miejsce na świecie" (3) in "Polish Roads / Polskie drogi", television series, dir. Janusz Morgenstern (role: photographer's client).
- 1976 - "Przepraszam, czy tu biją? / Foul Play", dir. Marek Piwowski (role: "Bear" at the ZOO).
- 1976 – "Starlings / Szpaki" (1) in "Far From the Highway Daleko od szosy", television series, dir. Zbigniew Chmielewski (role: traveling salesman).
- 1977 – "You Will Not Know Peace / Nie zaznasz spokoju", dir. Mieczysław Waśkowski (role: Janek Nieszporek, black marketeer).
- 1977 – "Recollections / Rekolekcje", dir. Witold Leszczyński (role: Janek, superintendent a the Forest Opera amphitheater).
- 1978 – "Amber / Bursztyn" (1) in "Green Love / Zielona miłość", television series, dir. Stanisław Jędryka (role: drunkard with broken collarbone).
- 1978 – "Cats are Scoundrels / Koty to dranie", television production, dir. Henryk Bielski (role: market salesman).
- 1978 – "Flames / Płomienie", dir. Ryszard Czekała (role: father).
- 1978 – "Relocation / Przeprowadzka" (1), "Name Day / Imieniny" (2), "Demosthenes / Demostenes" (3), "Escape / Ucieczka" (5), "The Parent-Teacher's Meeting / Wywiadówka" (7) in "The Leśniewski Family / Rodzina Leśniewskich", television series, dir. Janusz Łęski (role: moving company employee, "bedouin with camel" in the opening of "Lullaby", Santa Claus, Gabryś, University doorman).
- 1980 - "The Leśniewski Family / Rodzina Leśniewskich", dir. Janusz Łęski (role: moving company employee, Santa Claus, Gabryś, University doorman).
- 1981 - "Amnestia / Amnesty", dir. Stanisław Jędryka (role: restaurateur).
- 1981 – "Haphazard Philip / Filip z Konopi", dir. Józef Gębski (role: organ player at the wedding of Jańcia and Czesław).
- 1981 - "Johnny Heart / Jan Serce", television series, dir. Radosław Piwowarski (role: Józef Kieliszek, canal worker).
- 1981 – "The Offer / Oferta" (8) in "White Tango / Białe tango", television series, dir. "Janusz Kidawa" (role: stoneworker).
- 1981 – "Emergency Services / Pogotowie przyjedzie", television production, dir. Zbigniew Rebzda (role: Wacek, ambulance service employee).
- 1981 – "Collision / Zderzenie", television production, dir. Grzegorz Skurski.
- 1982 – "Star Dust / Gwiezdny pył", television production, dir. Andrzej Kondratiuk (role: man at junk yard).
- 1982 – "Bad Things Come in Twos / Nieszczęścia chodzą parami" (1) in "Prelude / Przygrywka", television series, dir. Janusz Łęski (role: Magot, photographer, donkey owner).
- 1983 – "The Valley of Happiness / Dolina szczęścia", dir. Krzysztof Nowak (role: voice of Castle Ghost).
- 1983 – "Incident in the Desert / Incydent na pustyni", television production, dir. Wojciech Strzemżalski (role: Potocki, janitor).
- 1984 - "Czas dojrzewania / Maturing Time", dir. Mieczysław Waśkowski (role: portier w hotelu robotniczym).
- 1984 – "Fish'n'Chips Story / Smażalnia story", dir. Józef Gębski (role: distillery director).
- 1985 – "Old Acquaintances / Starzy znajomi" in "In the View of the Defense / Zdaniem obrony", television series, dir. Leszek Staroń (role: Jasio, black marketeer).
- 1986 – "The Last Bell / Ostatni dzwone", television production, dir. Wojciech Strzemżalski.
- 1987 - Odc. 1 w "Śmieciarz", television series, dir. Jacek Butrymowicz (role: pijak w knajpie).
- 1988 – "Swan Song / Łabędzi śpiew", dir. Robert Gliński (role: elderly man).
- 1988 - "Pan Kleks w kosmosie / Kleks in Space", dir. Krzysztof Gradowski (role: guard).
Filmography – Television Theater:
- 1971 – "Eagle on the Roof / Orzeł na dachu", author; dir. Wojciech Siemion.
- 1975 – "The Rico Brothers / Bracia Rico" - by George Simenon; actor; dir. Marek Piwowski.
- 1977 – "Trouble Is My Business / Kłopoty to moja specjalność" - by Raymond Chandler; actor (garage employee); dir. Marek Piwowski.
- 1984 – "The Context / Kontekst" (premiere: 1987) – by Leonardo Sciascia; actor; dir. Krzysztof Skudziński.
Production based on the prose of Jana Himilsbach:
- 1969 – "The Miniature Portrait / Monidło", television production, dir. Antoni Krauze, based on the novella "The Miniature Portrait / Monidło".
- 1970 – "About Face / W tył zwrot", fiction short, dir. Raul Zermeno, based on the novella "In the Name of the Law / W imieniu prawa".
- 1983 – "Moonlighting / Fucha", fiction feature (premiere: 1985), dir. Michał Dudziewicz, based on the novella "Botch / Partanina".
- 2004 – "Our Street / Nasza ulica", short film, dir. Łukasz Palkowski, based on the novella "Our Street / Nasza ulica".
Jan Himilsbach is also the subject of documentary films:
- "Broke or 24 Hours in the Life of Jan Himilsbach / Bez pieniędzy czyli 24 godziny z życia Jana Himilsbacha" (1984) dir. Krzysztof Gradowski.
- "No One Dies in the Movies / W Filmie Nikt Nie Umiera" (1993) dir. Jan Sosiński.
- "Himilsbach: Truths, Tall Tales and Black Holes / Himilsbach. Prawdy, Bujdy, Czarne Dziury" (2002) dir. Stanisław Manturzewski and Małgorzata Łupina.
Jan Himilsbach is the subject of the book The World of Jan Himilsbach / Świat Jana Himilsbacha, catalogue of the festival and exhibition: The World of Jan Himilsbach. Film and Literature / Świat Jana Himilsbacha. Film i literatura / Himilsbach's Welt, Iwona Mickiewicz and Martin Sander, eds. (Lipsk, 2006).
Author: Jan Strękowski, September 2008.