Still from "Mania. The history of a Cigarette Factory Worker", 1918
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 F
The grand presentation of the film takes place on the 4th of September 2011 in the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and is accompanied by music, specially composed by famous film composer Jerzy Maksymiuk, performed by the 10-person Wrocław Chamber Orchestra 'Leopoldinum'.
A unique film relic which stood the test of time. The lost film was rediscovered in 2006 and has been thoroughly digitally reconstructed through advanced 4K technology. The copy of the film kept in the archives of the National Film Archive is probably the only one in the world and is created under the "Preservation and digitisation of pre-war feature films in the National Film Archive in Warsaw" (Konserwacja i digitalizacja przedwojennych filmów fabularnych w Filmotece Narodowej w Warszawie) project. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the 11th priority "Culture and cultural heritage" of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment.
The Polish re-premiere of the film in Warsaw marks the beginning of its international tournée around five European capital cities - Paris (12 September), Madrid (29 September), London (13 October), Kiev (29 October) and Berlin (8 November). The tournée is an important element of Polish cultural activities connected with the Presidency in the European Council in the second half of 2011. Presenting the film which was considered to be lost, to the wide public aims 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 film tells the story of a great love of Mania Walkowska (Pola Negri), a young and pretty cigarette factory worker, to young talented composer Hans. Mania is selected to be the new face on a poster advertisement for the cigarette brand. At the studio of painter and creator of the poster, Heinz Alex, Mania meets the young composer Hans van den Hofa. Immediately they fall in love with each other. Meanwhile, intrigued by Mania’s beauty from the poster wealthy and influential art patron Morelli throws a grand ball and invites Mania. During the ball he earnestly seeks her favor however his attempts fail. Mania inspires Hans to write an opera which will open at the National Opera House in Berlin. However, jealous Morelli one of the shareholders of the opera house, discovers this and cancels the opera. Mania tries to convince Morelli to reconsider and he does, on one condition that Mania becomes his mistress. Faced with a difficult choice, Mania decides to help her love make his dream come true, a choice that leads to a tragic finale. The composer changes the title of the opera from “Mania” to “Tarantella”. At the premiere the two lovers meet and Mania explains to Hans that she still loves him and is only with Morelli so that he would put Hans’ opera on stage. Hans does not want to hear it. Desperate Mania locks one of the perfomers’ in a closest and disguises herself, taking the performers place on stage. Also Mania has replaced one of the props - a dummy gun with a real one…
The screening of the film "Mania. The history of a cigarette factory worker" (1918), starring Pola Negri takes place on the 4th of September 2011 at 18:00 at the National Philharmonic.
ul. Jasna 5, Warsaw
Organised by Filmoteka Narodowa
Production by Barracuda Music Company
Partners: National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Goethe-Instiut, Pola Negri Lipnowski Cultural Society, Museum of Cinematography, Hungarian Institute of Culture.
Media patrons: Filmweb, Gazeta Wyborcza, monthly magazine Kino (Cinema), Polish Radio station Dwójka, TVP History and TVP Warsaw.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute.