film screening and discussion
The Structure of Crystal
Od–jazd Film Club meeting
The Structure of Crystal [Struktura kryształu], directed by Krzysztof Zanussi, Poland 1969, 75'
- The most intellectual film by the most intellectual director? A true revelation and surprise that it is possible to talk so seriously in cinema, creating an alternative, but also a complement to Wajda’s art.
- Marek and Jan are friends from university, but since their graduation from Physics, they went separate ways. Jan became a meteorologist and settled with his wife in the countryside, while Marek focused on his scientific career in Warsaw. Marek visits Jan and urges him to return to his scientific work in the capital. As it turns out, however, convincing his friend will not be easy…
- Referred to as a prelude to the cinema of moral anxiety, The Structure of Crystal, Krzysztof Zanussi’s feature debut, focuses – as if through a lens – on the themes that one of Poland’s most important and original directors will develop in his subsequent films. There is an intellectual dialogue between two attitudes to life, there are questions about the moral price of success and different understandings of the value of work and the social utility of the individual. Instead of fast-paced action or flashy staging, Zanussi opts for the simplicity of image showing deep philosophical reflection and questions about what is most important in life. It is amazing how universal and up-to-date these questions are, intriguing and prompting ever new interpretations.
- Which of the attitudes represented by the characters is favoured by the director?
- Are we obliged to develop our talents?
- What is the price of giving up a career?
- Does cinema in Zanussi’s intellectual style have a future?
- We will try to answer these and many other questions together with our club’s expert dr Mikołaj Mirowski (PhD). We invite you to the screening and discussion, during which you will be able to ask questions and share your ideas on how to interpret the film. What do you think The Structure of Crystal is about? We want to hear your opinion!
- dr Mikołaj Mirowski (PhD)
- Historian, publicist, editor-in-chief of the quarterly Pleograf [Pleograph], published by FInA (Polish National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute). Collaborator of the Warsaw Rising Museum, the Polish History Museum and the Museum of Independence Traditions in Łódź. Academic expert in the history of the USSR and the subject of Polish-Jewish relations. Author of the script of the programme Pojedynki stulecia [Duels of the century], dedicated to the most outstanding Polish writers of the 20th century, broadcast in 2018 on TVP Kultura. Since 2019, he has been presenting the series Teatr historii [Theatre of history] on TVP Historia channel, consisting of the best performances of the Television Theatre on historical topics. Author of books, including Piłsudski (nie)znany. Historia i popkultura [Piłsudski (un)known. History and pop culture] (2018). A passionate fan of Polish cinema, especially the works of Wajda, Kawalerowicz, Kutz and Wojciech Jerzy Has, his The Manuscript Found in Saragossa above all.