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Myszochujek by Kristof Babiski

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A half century old film has recently been unearthed and lovingly restored by the Polish Film Club and is causing quite a stir. Not only is Myszochujek completely not safe for those with an adverse reaction to animated appendages but this full frontal fable also seems oddly before its time perhaps challenging the boundaries of taste and offence in a more prudish age.

 

We spoke to Anika Jarzynka, an archivist at the Polish Film Club to find out more about the mysterious creator of this film Kristof Babiski and the restoration process.

Who was Kristof Babaski?

He was a director who lived and worked in Warsaw, Poland. I was unaware of any work he produced also, as his work doesdn’t seem to show anywhere. I have found one photograph of Babaski where he is wearing an eye-patch, I can’t be sure why as he could see perfectly well out of both eyes. I made sure I would work very hard to find his complete work, ‘Myszochujek’, and make sure people watch it with both of their eyes.

Was Myszochujek a popular character upon release, is there a reason he isn’t that well known in the UK?

It seem not. There was no release of the film until now, so we are effectively premiering it online worldwide. Many european animation has not screened in the UK, so it is no surprise new works pop up from time to time.

The restoration is nearly flawless, can you tell us how easy it was to clean it up?

It was a complicating process. I had access to a very bad quality digital file which was heavily digitised and unusable. Then I managed to source a 16mm film print in original film packaging from a family member of his. We checked for damage on the print carefully cleaning the film with a cloth, to go to telecine transfer then digitised for colour + light correction. We then used new music for a section of the film as the old sound was unusable. We used royalty free music

The film almost seems ahead of its time, would you call Kristof a visionary?

Absolutely! He was years a head of his time. I think there was a lot of film being made that was playful at the time, but this one seems a bit different. To wobble the mouse penis very smooth style had not been done before I think in animation, so we owe him that. Much of the original sound had to be redone when we were fix in the film. So the film is a real blend of old and new.

What do you think the story is about?

The story is playful and serious at the same time… as the mouse wants to play around freely but is censored for doing so, evicted from his mouse house and ultimately his life is in danger. This makes him think about the world differently, and have to change. I think the motivations for making it must be personal to the directors… otherwise why make it in the first place?

polishfilmclub

Tell us more about the Polish Film Club.

The Polish Film Club [or Polski Klub Filmowy] was set up by me and a group of friends who are all film enthusiasts. We are a collective who get together once a week to share film with each other. This was a very informal get together which I am trying to make more important steps to expanding. As ‘Myszochujek’ was never formally released, I acquired its rights and released the film as a Polish Film Club production in 2014. We are also making our own film and want to release them under the Polish Film Club producing them. We hope mixing new works with old works will show our love of the medium, and the importance of film through the ages.

Do you have any other films you are restoring?

Busy with another one now, which is live-action we are all excited about. Secret now but more updates soon!

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  • Dariusz Labuzek

    what an iPhonehead teenage douche wrote this comment “this is weird” in the subtitles
    what an ignorant moron
    in this short the puritans accidentally shot the film roll (celluloid film) and this created a chaos inside a projector which is their environment
    really ? this was that difficult to comprehend ?

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100 Animated Shorts Greats - "The Family Dog" - from Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, pure gem in comedy! t.co/gb9JSKxqTg
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