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Film by Mariusz Wilczyński in the Run up to Oscar Nomination

November 22, 2020

Kill it and leave this Town from Paul Hudson on Vimeo.

Mariusz Wilczyński's film: KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN (2020, 88 min) is in the run up to Academy Award nomination in the Best Animated Feature Film category.

Polish artist Mariusz Wilczyński has been making visually striking, deeply personal short animations, as well as unique live animation performances, for twenty years, a body of work that has won him widespread acclaim in Poland and tributes at institutions around the world, including MoMA, the National Gallery in London, and many others. Fifteen years in the making, KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN is Wilczyński’s first feature-length film. The winner of the Jury Distinction Award at Annecy International Film Festival, the Grand Prize for Feature Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and a FIPRESCI Award at the 2020 Viennale, it is a hauntingly surreal meditation on aging, mortality, and loss. Adopting an intentionally threadbare visual style that makes visible the traces of its own creation, Wilczyński transmutes heavily autobiographical elements into a radically shape-shifting form in which outer reality and inner consciousness collapse into each other, and in which the laws of time, space, and identity are constantly in flux.

KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN features a voice cast comprising established Polish actors Krystyna Janda (DECALOGUE, A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING), Andrzej Chyra (UNITED STATES OF LOVE), and Maja Ostaszewska (THE PIANIST, SCHINDLER’S LIST), filmmakers Andrzej Wajda and Zbigniew Rybczyński, and avant-garde jazz musician Tomasz Stańko, as well as a score by renowned Polish composer and musician Tadeusz Nalepa.

Co-presented with the Anthology Film Archives, and representing its North American premiere run, this special two-week virtual engagement of KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN will be supplemented by a program of Wilczyński’s earlier short films.

“Occupying a conceptual space several universes away from (or perhaps, given its intensely personal nature, deeply nested inside) whatever it is we recognize as ‘reality,’ the scratchy, hand-drawn interior epic…rewards with one of the most nightmarishly original dystopian visions you are likely to encounter this year.” – Jessica Kiang, VARIETY

“This is not animation which is there to exalt, or soothe, or celebrate human loveliness: it is animation which takes a fiercely miserable satirical stab at the world and itself, a language which is unreconciled, unaccommodated. […] Here is the Neue Sachlichkeit reborn; yet the realism is overwritten by something hallucinatory and nihilistic, but also funny in a bleak Beckettian sort of way. You can watch this film often without being quite sure what is happening or who exactly the various figures are: it is a kind of sleep-talking cinema, a cinema which splurges up scrambled messages from the unconscious, which have their own dark mysterious poetry.” – Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN 

KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN will be available starting Wednesday, November 25, for a streaming rental price of $12 (meanwhile, it’s available for pre-order now). Discounted prices will be offered for AFA Members ($6) and Polish Cultural Institute New York subscribers ($8). Polish Cultural Institute New York subscribers, please email nyc.office@instytutpolski.org for the discount code.

Purchasing a streaming rental of the feature film will also grant access to the following short films:

  • ALLEGRO MA NON TROPPO (1998, 3 min)
  • TIMES HAVE PASSED / CZASY PRZESZŁY (1998, 3.5 min)
  • CHOP, CHOP, CHOP, CHOPIN… / SZOP, SZOP, SZOP, SZOPĘ… (1999, 13 min)
  • FROM THE GREEN HILL (1999, 6 min)
  • FOR MY MOTHER AND ME / MOJEJ MAMIE I SOBIE (2000, 2.5 min)
  • IN THE STILLNESS OF THE NIGHT / WŚRÓD NOCNEJ CISZY (2000, 2.5 min)
  • DEATH TO FIVE / SMIERĆ NA 5 (2002, 4 min)
  • UNFORTUNATELY / NIESTETY (2004, 13 min)
  • KIZI MIZI (2007, 20 min)

Co-presented with Anthology Film Archives and Outsider Pictures. Total running time: ca. 75 min.

On Thursday, December 3 at 4pm EST, Mariusz Wilczyński will take part in a live Zoom Q&A, moderated by Chris Robinson, Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Click here for the access details.