The Circle

The Circle
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part: clip 01:48, whole 07:35
Director: Jerzy Kucia
Screenwriter: Jerzy Kucia
Director of Photography: Marek Plata
Visual Effects: Jerzy Kucia
About the film
Assistant Director: Marek Pieniążek
Sound Imitation: Mieczysław Janik
Production Manager: Halina Kramarz
Rights: National Film Archive
Language: pl
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A horse tiresomely pulling a wagon – in a slow, regular rhythm. People relaxing by the water, snoozing, eating, drinking, talking, playing ball… And nature – beautiful, dignified, sometimes cruel. Humans are just as cruel towards nature. The camera moves around its own axis – in a circle, observing the recreation from afar, through bushes and trees. The popular musical motive is mixed with natural sounds (murmurs). The atmosphere becomes tight. The coachman hurries the horse…

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“The Return” (1972), Jerzy Kucia’s debut, was a “horizontal” journey, an intimate impression about a man who returns for a moment to the world of his past, “The Lift” (1973) – a “vertical” journey, a collage of thoughts, memories, dreams of a man who is in a lift, and “The Circle”, a circular journey. The camera moves around its vertical axis, returning to the same scenes in which small changes have appeared, often in the far background. The construction assumption – incredibly simple, the realisation – extremely difficult. In Jerzy Kapuściński’s program “Other Cinema” the artist, when commenting the TV projection of “The Circle”, says: “For me the technique was not very important, that is it doesn’t matter what technique I use as long as it shows the situation I want to present. I even wanted the audience not to recognize the technique, but to go as deep as possible into the story, the drama, to understand this language which is – in my opinion – not so simple.” “The Circle” is a kind of continuation of Kucia’s earlier films and a notice of his future films. The director confirms this observation. In a conversation with Monika Wysogląd in “Film” (nr 31/1986) he confesses: “Sometimes I think that maybe I am lowering the level, because I have plunged into a creative tunnel (…) constantly the same one. I have however done this on purpose. It is very easy to make diverse films, much harder to make those which come from a common genesis. I have many ready scripts, but I only want to realise some of them – those, which have a connection with my earlier films, which descend from them. For example “Reflexes” came from “The Circle.” When I was making “The Circle”, I already knew that I would also make “Reflexes”, moreover I knew that they would resemble each other, because they would stem out of a motif from “The Circle.” The opposition between nature and civilization is successfully continued by Kucia in his later films: “The Parade” (1986; prizes in Oberhausen, Warna, Kraków, Zamość), in which harvest time brings back memories and reflections, as well as “Through the fields” (1992; prizes in Szanghaj, Huesca, Kijów, and Kraków), a poetic impression about the passing of time, where a trip through the fields is accompanied by images from the past, of close people, dreams. The logic of the precedence of events in these films is substituted by a logic of memory. Jerzy Armata

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by author

The film contains the factor of time, which is incredibly important to me – says the artist. Operating dynamic art forms allows me, far more than for example painting, to touch the tempo of modern life. That is what interests me most. When I observe my closest surroundings, our common difficult experiences of the last several dozen years, I always try to show the authentic, quite often complicated situation of an individual (...) - A film is not just a tape, but also what happens between me and the audience. On the screen I give them only a small number of impulses, which are supposed to move them and encourage reflection. This evanescent form of films, which makes the audience concentrate for a very short time, has always enchanted me. Joanna Boniecka, Krótkie filmy o człowieku, „Czas Krakowski”, 1993, nr 217

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