Piotr Kamler (b. 1936)

Le labyrinthe (1969), Music: Bernard Parmegiani
Coeur de secours (1973), Music: Francois Bayle
Chronopolis (1982), Music: Luc Ferrari
Une mission ephemere (1993), Music: Bernard Parmegiani

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 8 unusual short films between 1962 and 1973. The films themselves were incorrectly described as science fiction-in fact they were much closer to the universe of Borges than to Space Opera. Kamler, who created strange, improbable but plausible world, began to explore a whole range of different visual techniques. Le Trou (1968), Araignelephant (1968), Delicieuse Catastrophe (1971), Coeur de secours (1973) all won awards at major film festivals (Cracow, New York, Mamaiea , Melbourne... ). After Le Pas (Grand prix at Annecy 1975) Kamler went underground for a while until he resurfaced with the full-length feature Chronopolis (1982).

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 - he is as assured working with clay (as in his feature, Chronopolis) as he is with ink and paper, or even animating digitally on computer (in the most recent work in this program, Une mission ephemere). These visual flourishes embellish some of the most amazing animated films ever made - an achievement which won his Le Pas the Grand Prix of the 1975 Annecy Animation Festival.

Francois Bayle in UbuWeb Sound
Luc Ferrari in UbuWeb Sound
Bernard Parmegiani in UbuWeb Sound

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