The Guests of our Office are often historians – historians of ideas, historians of literature, historians tout court. On 25 January 2013 second lecture of a historian of the cinema was delivered, after the one by dr hab Krzysztof Kornacki, this time by dr Paweł Sitkiewicz, historian of animation and film, deputy director of the Institute of Polish Studies of the University of Gdańsk. Despite his young age dr Sitkiewicz is the author of three well received, and especially significant for Polish humanities books: Small great cinema: animated film from birth to the end of the classical period, The Polish school of animation and Mickey and the mice: Walt Disney and cartoon in pre-war Poland.
The presentation allowed our Guest, eminent expert on animated film in Poland, to show his other face: that of a historian of the old cinema. Lecture entitled „Umówiłem się z nią na dziewiątą… ”1 What was it like to visit the old movie theater let us move to pre-war movie theaters, extremely – as it turned out – differentiated not only in terms of repertoire, but also as regards comfort, temperature and even scent. By studying old newspapers, not necessarily associated with cinema, dr Sitkiewicz managed to compose small pieces of information into exciting and coherent story on the old “cinemaniacs”, cinema industry and, more extensively – on the culture and society much more passionate about evening screenings in densely scattered halls. In an exceptionally vivid discussion with audience, the author of The Polish school of animation revealed more secrets of the history of cinema and diagnosed condition of modern filmmaking.
1 Title of a well-known Polish song from a pre-war movie „Level up”, performed by Eugeniusz Bodo.