World-famous stars such as Michael York, Charlotte Rampling and Rutger Hauer were guests at a news conference devoted to the latest film by Lech Majewski entitled The Mill and the Cross (Młyn i krzyż).
Once again, the esteemed director and author of such films as Angelus and Glass Lips drew inspiration from paintings. This time the starting point for the narration is the masterpiece "The Procession to Calvary" by Peter Bruegel. The plot, set in 16th century Netherlands, combines the story of Christ's passion with the torment in Flanders caused by Spanish political and religious oppression.
Rutger Hauer plays the character of Bruegel, Michael York plays a banker and art collector and Charlotte Rampling plays the role of Maria. Joanna Litwin, known from Majewski's previous productions, also appears in the film.
Scenes from The Mill and the Cross were shot in Katowice, Tarnów, Dębno and Kraków-Czestochowa Jura. In order to reconstruct the Flemish master's environment with accuracy, Majewski employed multilevel photography using high-technology computer graphics and 3D effects.
During a meeting with journalists in the Monopol Hotel in Katowice, the foreign actors described the collaboration with Majewski as an exceptional experience and a challenge.
"As a person who has been living and working in Hollywood, I appreciate the European approach to cinema and the significance given to artistic cinema such as that created by Lech Majewski, and the fact that it is co-financed from public funds," said Michael York. "The first time I had contact with the creative activity of Lech Majewski was in MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) in New York. Recently I had an opportunity to meet him on the film set and it was an unforgettable experience."
Majewski said he was delighted to have the chance to work with such exceptional actors.
"While working on this film, I felt a little like an alchemist who produces a new substance from ingredients of the highest quality," he said. "These ingredients are the actors with whom I work."
The director explained the themes in his works: "I usually produce films about artists for the simple reason that I like them much more than gangsters and policemen, whom I don't suspect of having something interesting to tell. Meanwhile, the artist can reveal for me a world of unknown things."
The Mill and the Cross will be released in cinemas in 2009. The main producers are Telewizja Polska S.A. (Polish Television), Instytucja Filmowa (Film Institution) "Silesia Film", Angelus Silesius, Arkana Studio, Supra Film, 24 Media and Bokomotiv. The film is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza