Heart of Refuge by Piotr Kamler Heart of Refuge by Piotr Kamler

Polish animator Piotr Kamler (b. 1936) won the Grand Pix at Annecy in 1975 for his film Le Pas, but I’ve chosen to display an earlier film of his called Heart of Refuge (Couer de Secours, 1973). The visual imagery in this 1973 film is breathtaking, and it is cited by Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet as the film that inspired him to pursue a filmmaking career. I discovered more about Kamler on this blog though I’m unsure of the original source of the write-up:

Piotr Kamler was born in Warsaw in 1936. He is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art. In 1959 he went to Paris to continue his art studies. it was there that he came into contact with Research Department at ORTF( directed by Pierre Schaeffer) and began to collaborate with “concrete” musicians such as Xenakis on experimental shorts( musical abstract films and “fables”) The ORTF Research Department which was later taken over by INA, was a hothouse for talent, enabling diverse artists such as Peter Foldes, Robert Lapoujade , Jacques Espagne, Jacques Rouxel, Andre Martin and Michel Boschet, Jacques Colombat, Jean-Francois Laguionie, Henry Lacam and Kamler to carry out a large number of bold and innovative personal projects. With astonishing regularity, Kamler came up with no less than eight unusual short films between 1962 and 1973…Kamler’s animated cinema suggests a singular variety of science fiction; it was he who provided the original idea for the Shadoks TV series. Completely unalike to more conventionally linear and text-based narratives, Kamler’s films instead explore a series of dynamic visual motifs. Typically, the conclusion of these films is less suggestive of resolution, than it is of recurring episode. What is most striking in all his films is the variety of visual invention that Kamler brings to each work.

Kamler made a feature in 1982 called Chronopolis which is viewable online in its entirety at UbuWeb. There’s plenty of information about the film on Wikipedia.

Here’s one more of his films–The Spider Elephant. The short is from 1967, but with visuals as fresh and relevant as anything being produced today.

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