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Boro, L'Île d'Amour: The Films of Walerian Borowczyk

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Boro, L'Île d'Amour

The Films of Walerian Borowczyk

Edited by Kamila Kuc, Kuba Mikurda, and Michał Oleszczyk

25th Anniversary Sale, 25% off all books! Add coupon code BB25

210 pages, 13 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-701-5 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (August 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-702-2 eBook

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“The contributors to this collection use new archival sources to provide a comprehensive map of Boro’s career and to reestablish his place in the history of Polish and European avant-garde and art cinema.  All the essays are well informed and clearly written; collectively, they provide valuable insights into Boro's often puzzling, sometimes scandalous motivations and productions.” · Choice

“…a thought-provoking collection of different essays commenting on the life and films of a renowned Polish film director, Walerian Borowczyk… One of the strengths of this book is that the authors of the essays link Borowczyk’s artistic output with the social and artistic environment of Poland in which he grew up, and of France, where he spent most of his adult life.” · Slavic Review


There has been a recent revival of interest in the work of Polish film director Walerian Borowczyk, a label-defying auteur and “escape artist” if there ever was one. This collection serves as an introduction and a guide to Borowczyk’s complex and ambiguous body of work, including panoramic views of the director’s output, focused studies of particular movies, and more personal, impressionistic pieces. Taken together, these contributions comprise a wide-ranging survey that is markedly experimental in character, allowing scholars to gain insight into previously unnoticed aspects of Borowczyk’s oeuvre.

Kamila Kuc is Post-doctoral Researcher in New Media at and Goldsmiths College, University of London, as well as a writer, curator, and experimental filmmaker. Her most recent publication is The Struggle for Form: Perspectives on Polish Avant-Garde Film 1916–1989 (Wallflower Press, 2014), co-edited with Michael O’Pray.

Kuba Mikurda teaches at the Film School in Łódź, Poland, and is a film critic, curator, and broadcaster. He is series editor of “Linia Filmowa” for Korporacja Ha!art Press, with whom he recently published Corpus Delicti in collaboration with Jakub Woynarowski (2013). He is currently working on a documentary film about Walerian Borowczyk.

Michał Oleszczyk is the artistic director of the Gdynia Film Festival, as well as programmer for Polish Filmmakers NYC, a New York based organization devoted to promoting Polish cinema in the U.S. He also works as a film critic, scholar, and translator.

Subject: Film Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Illustrations


Introduction: A Private Universe
Kamila Kuc, Kuba Mikurda, Michał Oleszczyk

Chapter 1. Boro: Escape Artist
Kuba Mikurda

Chapter 2. Borowczyk’s Kunstkamera
Marcin Giżycki

Chapter 3. Animated Bodies: A Conversation Between Kuba Mikurda and Jakub Woynarowski

Chapter 4. Cruel Imagination: Borowczyk’s Post-Traumatic Surrealism
Iwona Kurz

Chapter 5. The Postcard Never Sent: Guy de Maupassant and Rosalie Prudent’s Cinematic Confession
Kamila Kuc

Chapter 6. Boro: The Guide for the Perplexed
Fernando F. Croce

Chapter 7. Borowczyk’s Serial Labyrinth: From Goto, Isle of Love (1968) to Behind Convent Walls (1977)
James Snazell

Chapter 8. Immoral Toys: On Borowczyk’s A Private Collection (1974)
Edwin Carels

Chapter 9. The Beast with Two Backs: On Borowczyk’s The Beast (1975)
Philip Warnell

Chapter 10. Laughter in the Doll House: On Victorian Surrealism in Walerian Borowczyk’s Films
Kamila Wielebska

Chapter 11. Enjoying Excess: A Bataillean Interpretation of Story of Sin (1975) by Walerian Borowczyk and Stefan Żeromski
Marta Rabikowska

Chapter 12. The Beach, the Bubble and the Boudoir: The Meeting-Spaces of Walerian Borowczyk and André Pieyre de Mandiargues
Jonathan Owen

Chapter 13. Sex & the Sacred: The Obstacles to Desire Becoming its Objects
Jakub Majmurek

Chapter 14. Reflecting on The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981)
Budd Wilkins

Chapter 15. The Perils of Emmanuelle: A Conversation between Simon Abrams, Odie Henderson, and Michał Oleszczyk

Chapter 16. Revisiting Love Rites (1988)
Kevin Lee

Contributors Biographies

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