The Great Theater

Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short - Honorable Mention 2017

NEW DOCS

Sławomir Batyra’s evocative and visually rich film showcases a Polish opera theater’s production of Madama Butterfly from behind (and below) the stage. The film is an observational tour de force; Krzysztof Gromek’s camera investigates, without narration or talking heads, the innards and secrets of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw. The variegated offstage world of this theater has more heft and mystery, the film seems to assert, than the opera performance onstage. Batyra highlights the creativity and seriousness of the theater staff: costumers, cobblers, carpenters, stagehands, musicians, and, at the controls, a commanding stage manager. The beauty and wit of the filmmaking go well beyond a tour of a working theater’s systems and structure into the realm of metaphor: a costumed player in silent meditation in the midst of preshow bustle, or the building’s improbable M. C. Escher–like “ascending and descending” staircase. NK

Filmmaker Q&A following screening

Director

Sławomir Batyra

Producer

Adam Sokolowski

Editor

Daniel Sokolowski

Cinematographer

Krzysztof Gromek

Original Title

Wielki Teatr

Release Year

2016

Festival Year

2017

Country

Poland

Run Time

30 minutes

Subtitled

Yes