NH Tit-Bits
27 June 2011
The blink of Virtuoso's green eye that is, Army in film

Tomasz Budzyński will be the guest and juror in the Films About Art Contest in this year. He is a painter, poet, and musician. In 1985 Budzyński together with Robert Brylewski and Sławomir Gołaszewski formed Army group with which he records and gives concerts to this day (he made his debut in 1984 as the singer of the legendary Siekiera band). Army recently celebrated its 25thanniversary. At that time, Tomasz Budzyński started a new chapter in his artistic work. He wrote an autobiographical book and a screenplay for the full-length film titles Journey to the east which he directed together with Łukasz Jankowski. The book will appear under the imprint of In Rock publisher in September and we will see the film during the 11th IFF New Horizons in Wrocław.

Journey to the east was created at National Culture Centre's request and was supposed to be a documentary presenting a long-lasting group activity. The statement that the artists approached the subject creatively appears tautological. Instead of showing the typical talking heads on the screen, they shot a hybrid genre that would give the character of the music and the atmosphere that is close to 'group' life. Grot the Engine Driver, Stefan Grabiński's short story, served as a canvas of the script. Besides, provincial outskirts, as if they were taken out of the time, especially an unusual area of the last working in the world engine house in Wolnsztyn, became the film setting.

As far as the genre is concerned, the film is neither a typical documentary nor a typical plot. Although the structure of Journey to the East resembles a song, it is not even a musical film. The adventures of railway men seem to be the verses. They are alternated with a regular refrain, these are Army songs. The songs taken from different records change the aim of the journey, instead of the title East, they take viewers along a sentimental journey to the group's artistic work. Among others, the members of Mumio cabaret accompany the group in this journey.

Tomasz Budzyński: "Terrible and mysterious things happen there. If one knows Stefan Grabiński's works, one knows that he is our Polish Edgar Allan Poe. I will not give away everything, however uncanny stories do happen there. (...) There is a live music. The versions are a bit unplugged, yet they are real performances. Nothing is overdubbed and any playing is a fake one. Just like in The Sky Above Berlin film where Nick Cave's real concert is shown, the same is in ours. (…) We play songs from different times as the 25th anniversary of Army existence was the excuse for filming it; therefore, it is diverse. Although there is a lot of music in this film, it is not a musical film. I think that Army fans who are already adults will have a lot to hear and see".

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