Zbigniew Rybczyński

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is one of the better ones out there and last night it brought me this, the Polish winner of the 1983 Best Animated Short Oscar. It’s a fascinating choreographed symphony of everyday life tasks executed by different figures, looped in one space, the flow never disturbed, the people moving around without ever acknowledging or disturbing the others‘ presence. It’s a bit like watching a busy intersection, hypnotic and exhilarating in its precision and rhythm. Janusz Hajdun’s score is the repetitive heartbeat keeping it all together, starting out as the dominating soundwall, then gradually pushed to the background by the mounting noise of that many people in one confined space, until it starts emptying and the music takes over again.

Rybczyński was arrested the same night after receiving his Oscar because he smoked a cigarette outside the building and the security guard didn’t want to let him back in even though he held the statuette in his hands. Which led to him yelling at the guard: „American pig, I have Oscar.“ Didn’t help much.


[header image: Tango, by Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1980, photo: Se-ma-for]

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