Eugen Illes' silent film 'Mania. The history of a cigarette factory worker' (1918), starring internationally renowned Polish silent movie star Pola Negri (Barbara Apolonia Chałupiec) runs as a special presentation by Warsaw's Filmoteka Narodowa. Screenings are accompanied by music specially composed by a famous film composer...
Eugen Illes' silent film "Mania. The history of a cigarette factory worker" (1918), starring internationally renowned Polish silent movie star Pola Negri (Barbara Apolonia Chałupiec) was screened as a special presentation by Warsaw's Filmoteka Narodowa, the National Film Archives. The film - on tour throughout Europe - is accompanied by music, specially composed by film composer Jerzy Maksymiuk, played by the 10-person Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra 'Leopoldinum'
The lost film was rediscovered in 2006 and has been thorougly reconstructed through advanced 4K technology. Aimed to commemorate the Polish presidency, it alludes to one of the most important goals of European cooperation – preserving cultural heritage. The film in itself is a mixture of European influences. It was directed by a Hungarian director, produced in Germany, with the lead role played by the Warsaw-born actress.
The Polish film star was the first European 'import' to the US. After a childhood spent in poverty in Warsaw, Pola Negri (1897-1987) rose in the ranks of the Polish ballet, which eventually led her into the world of Polish film. She made nine films in Poland (including 'The Yellow Ticket' and 'His Last Gesture') before moving onto Germany to star in several silent movies. Whilst there, she made 24 films including 'Mania', which premiered in 1918. Due to the competition between the German and American film market at the time, American distributors began buying out European film stars. Pola Negri was their first-acquired European actress. Her years working with Paramount studios resulted in a host of films with stars such as comedian Ford Sterling and Chester Conklin. Her last films were 1943's 'Hi Diddle Diddle' and the Walt Disney production of 'The Moon Spinners' which co-starred Hayley Mills.
Negri's stint in Hollywood earned her fame and wealth (she was one of the richest working actresses of the time) whilst her off screen romances also brought her renown. She had love affairs with stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino and Rod La Rocque. Negri wrote an autobiography and, in 2006, a feature-length documentary premiered about her life. It was entitled: 'Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in Cinema'.
Warsaw's Filmoteka Narodowa is a state cultural institute dedicated to preserving archives of notable Polish film and cinematography.
For more information, see: www.maniafilm.pl
Date: 12th of September, 2011
Venue: Le Balzac Cinema, Paris
Organised by: Filmoteka Narodowa
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Showings of the film "Mania. The history of a cigarette factory worker" take place in four other European cities, including: Berlin, Kiev, London and Madrid. Screening details below.
13th of October: Barbican Centre, London
29th of September: Kino Cine Dore, Madrid
29th of October: Kino Kyjiv, Czerwonoarmijska 19, Kiev
In Ukraine, the screening is part of the Molodist Film Festival in Kiev.
8th of November: Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin