TUESDAY NIGHT in LA: “Chronopolis” at the Cinefamily

This month my monthly screening at the Cinefamily (at the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood) is a tribute to the Phantasmagoric Films of Piotr Kamler. Amid has previously posted about Kamler on the Brew; his films contain a surreal assortment of sci-fi imagery, combining stop-motion techniques (puppets, clay, cut-out), early CG and even pinboard animation.

Tonight, in addition to a selection of his best shorts, we’ll be screening a rare 35mm print of Kamler’s 52-minute opus, Chronopolis (his only feature film) – an Egyptian-flavored cybernetic opus that sucks you into a alternate universe with its own M.C. Escher-like laws of physics, space, time, and dream-logic. Fans of surrealist animators like the Brothers Quay will see similarities to their earlier films, which were likely influenced by this incredible work. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets and more info here.


  • http://artnote.blog.com Stephen

    Someone should bring Chronopolis out on DVD in the US. It looks fascinating!

    • http://www.sirrobrob.com/ Robert

      I have found some bootleg copies on ebay. It is AMAZING!! I wish I could find a nice transfer, or better yet a remastered version.

  • http://stuartbury.blogspot.com stuart

    This looks beautiful. I just watched the other one. How do I not know about this guy. I agree with Stephen, get Chronopolis in the US!

  • http://artnote.blog.com Stephen

    Wikipedia says the film was cut by 14 minutes to 52 minutes for reissue in 1988. A DVD would, I hope, include both versions.

    Read more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronopolis_(film)

  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    I was fortunate to see this in a movie theater in Paris when it was playing while I just happened to be visiting there. As you can see from the clip it has fascinating surreal images and is unlike any animated feature out there (and it IS out there). I saw the full version and it was too long and repeated it’s images incessantly, almost all the motion was cycles (very common for replacement animation, which much of this is). At one point there was a juggler performing (as I recall from all those years ago) that was made up of constantly repeating cycles, then later the scene was repeated in its entirety. I felt like I had seen that one action 100 times. That should not keep you from going to see this imaginative work, just be prepared.

  • JG

    You know, you can watch Chronopolis at ubu.com: http://www.ubu.com/film/kamler_chronopolis.html

    Just watched it now. Fascinating animation. Totally blows the mind away.

  • http://palais.wikidot.com Jordan Scott

    If anyone’s still interested, it’s long been available on DVD-Video in France, packaged with another disc of his shorts (called “Piotr Kamler : À la recherche du temps”) though due to both the long part and being self-published by the production company aaa (whom I have a multi-artist collection from) I wouldn’t have too high hopes for the quality of the transfers. But the two Kamler films it includes still stand out as uniquely enthralling and transcendal and leaving me wanting more. Though being a bit heavy on the repeated footage.