As a creator of animated films and as a painter, cartoonist, set designer and performer, Wilczyński's work presents a range of styles - and features films at once bittersweet and sardonic.
As a creator of animated films and as a painter, cartoonist, set designer and performer, Wilczyński's work presents a range of styles - featuring films at once bittersweet and sardonic.
Mariusz 'Wilk' Wilczynski was born in 1964. He graduated from the Painting and Graphics Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź in 1986. His films have been shown at top festivals in Poland, in Melbourne, Terme and Bologna in Italy, Chicago, and at Midem, Cannes, and solo screenings in Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Milan, Vilnius, Sydney and Toronto.
He is best known for the Chaplinesque Times Have Passed (1998), and Unfortunately (2004), a twilight journey set to a haunting score by Polish jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stańko - a film that won the Golden Hugo award for Best Animation at the 2005 Chicago International Film Festival. In 2007 he made Kizi Mizi (2007), which he has described as 'a tough love story between a cat and a mouse... a film about loneliness, betrayal, and revenge'.
It took him 14 years to make the full-lenght animation film Kill It and Leave This Town which will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on 22 February 2020, where it will be shown as part of the Encounters competition. The description on the Berlinale website reads:
A moving, dreamlike journey into a bizarre fantasy world full of past emotions. Mariusz Wilczyński has turned his attention to his own biography and bares all. Rummaging irreverently and uninhibitedly through his own personal and collective memory, he populates the streets, trams and shops of the industrial city of Lodz with characters, scraps of memory and catchy tunes that take us back to his childhood world of the 1960s and 1970s. (...) Wilczyński pushes the style and poetry of his shorter films, which oscillate between children’s drawings and Gothic aesthetics, to the extreme, testing the limits of what can be projected by using every imaginable nuance between grey and black. The cinema becomes a cave in which the audience can give free rein to their own memories, too, and face them with wide open eyes.
The music score for the film was composed by late Tadeusz Nalepa and voice- overs were provided esteemed actors: Krystyna Janda, Andrzej Chyra, Maja Ostaszewska, Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Barbara Krafftówna, Anna Dymna, Marek Konrad, Daniel Olbrychski, Gustaw Holoubek, Irena Kwiatkowska as well as director Andrzej Wajda and jazz musician Tomasz Stańko.
Since 2005 he has also been creating the animated segments that frame programming on TVP Kultura, the new cultural channel of Polish Television, and was honored in 2006 at the 9th Hot Bird TV Awards in Venice in large part for the originality of its animated framing. Since March 2005 he co-hosts a weekly cultural program on Polish Television (public TV, Program 1) devoted to phenomena in contemporary culture and art, entitled After Hours. Since 2003 he has been teaching classical animation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź.
Prior to his work for TVP Kultura, Mariusz Wilczyński had been pushing the envelope for years in applying film animation to other media. He did music videos for top musical performers including Tomasz Stańko, Breakout and Laibach, and for lullabies by many Polish singers such as Kora, Justyna Steczkowska and Stanisław Sojka. In 2002 he created 12 animated films for a farewell concert by the rock group Republika, presented at the 23rd annual Review of Actors' Song in Wrocław.
In the late 1990s Wilk created about 200 video supplements for books, so-called 'book-clips', which expressed in visual imagery the main themes of the new books for the cultural program Goniec Kulturalny (culture courier) on Polish TV's Channel One, and then, from 2003-05, for a weekly program, I Like to Read, on Polish TV's Channel Two, with animated interludes known as Male Wilki - Little Wolves, after his nickname. He also created 6 short animated films for audiences in the European Union that promoted Poland and Polish culture, with music by Krzesimir Dębski.
Prolific and multi-talented, Wilk had started in 1985 with paintings and graphics, which by 2000 had been exhibited (including 16 solo shows) throughout Poland, and in Yokohama, Wakayama, London, Sophia, Bruges, Amsterdam, Budapest, Madrid, Oslo and Chicago. His drawings were published in the Polish magazine Przekroj (Cross-section) and in Wysokie Obcasy (High Heels), the women's supplement to the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
As a performer, Wilczynski has taken part at art festivals WRO Media in Wrocław, Łódż, Edinburgh and the AVE Multimedial Festival in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In 2007 the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented 'An Evening with Andreas Hykade and Mariusz Wilczyński', a retrospective of his films accompanied by discussions with Wilczyński.
Honours include the Golden Hugo Award for Best Animation at the 2005 Chicago International Film Festival, and major awards from the 3rd European Independent Film Festival in Paris (Best Animation), the 11th International Graphics Competition in Yokohama, Japan, and the Ave Multimedial Festival in Arnhem, Holland.
For more information, see: www.wilkwilk.pl