“The Intensity of Looking” at Karabasz, 2018

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Andrzej Sapija


The origins of particular documentary films are sometimes difficult to determine, precisely locate and capture in time and space. It is like searching for the source of a river. What marked the beginning of Intensity of Looking, a film about the great documentary film director Kazimierz Karabasz? The beginning of a documentary film’s creation determines the artistic process and elements that shape its strength, energy and main thought. These elements, which sometimes verge on intuition, guide this process, shaping the subject of the film, as well as its meaning, climate and aura. There is a thread connecting the author and the protagonist of the film, something that binds them together during work on the film, and sometimes lasts much longer. The three variants of what initiates the process of making a particular documentary film are as follows. The first is an encounter with a person who could be a character in a documentary film. The second is a thought, idea or problem that a filmmaker wants to address and discuss in a documentary by means of a certain character and story. The third is a return to a character who had been portrayed in a previous documentary film, to tell more about him or her. All three of these variants were the case in the making of Andrzej Sapija’s Intensity of Looking.


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Sapija, A. (2019). “The Intensity of Looking” at Karabasz, 2018. Images. The International Journal of European Film, Performing Arts and Audiovisual Communication, 24(33), 166-178. https://doi.org/10.14746/i.2018.33.14
Kieślowski Revisited (and Re-watched)
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Andrzej Sapija, Department of Film Directing Polish National Film School, Lodz

film and TV director, Professor at Polish National Film School in Łódź. He made more than 50 documentaries about recognized artists, writers, poets, painters and directors, such as Tadeusz Kantor, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tadeusz Różewicz, Roman Opałka, Wojciech Fangor, or Kazimierz Karabasz. His documentary portrait of the Polish painter, Roman Opałka, Opałka – jedno życie,  jedno dzieło, won Grand Prix the International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal in 2012. Sapija made also a number of  documentaries on Polish history (Jagiellonowie, Polskie Państwo Podziemne, Powstanie Warszawskie-60 lat później, Z pokolenia na pokolenie) and directed 8 television dramas for Polish TV Theater.


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  4. Krubski K., Miller M., Turowska Z., Wiśniewski W., Filmówka. Powieść o Łódzkiej Szkole Filmowej, Warszawa 1995