A gloomy black and white landscape emerges from a waning rain. An old, neglected garden. One can hear music and sound of a party from afar. An insect begins to hatch out of his cocoon. The long and laborious process of birth is being carefully observed by another insect. When the observed insect manages, with great effort, to get out of his hull, stand up, flap its wings, he is suddenly attacked by the observer of his birth. A life-or-death fight ensues. The fighting insects fall into a puddle. The murderous battle continues. Circular reflections on the water are visible. Music is still playing, joyful sounds of the party can still be heard. Suddenly there is a reflex of a man standing next to the puddle. A car getting nearer can be heard. The man gets into the car and leaves behind a trace of his shoes and the two insects tramped in a deadly embrace.
Graduate of the Painting and Graphic Arts Department of The Academy of Arts in Cracow (1967), where he studied in the Animated Film Workshop, which he runs from 1981. Three years after graduating he became associated with the Animated Film Studio in Cracow. That is where he debuted with his film “The Return” (1972), a moving trip to childhood, which he returns to in many of his following films. He quickly became the leader of the Studio.
“Reflexes” (1979), Kucia’s sixth film realised in AFS, in beyond doubt one of his best and most perfectly made films in our history of animation. This was also noticed by juries, who award him with, among others, the Golden Dragon award at the XVI International Short Film Festival in Cracow (1979), a Bronze Hobby-Horse award in the category of animated films at the XIX National Short Film Festival in Cracow (1979), a Special Award at the XII International Animated Film Festival in Annecy (1979), Special Award for an animated film with exceptional artistic value at the XI Films on Art Festival in Zakopane (1980).
He makes films with no action in the traditional sense of the word, a philosophical reflective cinema which explores areas previously not penetrated by animation – a world of the inner experiences of the human kind. The logic of the precedence of events is substituted by a logic of memory. These films are a kind of a document of the human being’s inner world. “Reflexes” are in a way an exception. Although universal and timeless in its purport, the story has a clear plot constructed in accordance with the cause and effect logic. In his films, apart from the outstanding visuals (in “Reflexes” a perfection in animation drawings is noticeable) a lot of attention is given to the soundtrack. Music, murmurs, shredded words, dramatic moments of silence make the soundtrack fully integrated with the visual elements and often enlarges it with so-called “off the frame” space. “Reflexes” are a good example of this. We observe a murderous battle of two insects, which end tragically with the interference of a human. We can hear joyful music and the sounds of people having fun at a party, and all of this mixes with the sounds of the battle. Jerzy Armata