- The series ‘Blinded by the lights’ was supposed to be something independent and radical from the very beginning; something that I could feel. I wanted imagination to fly into areas of its own choice. It’s a very capricious matter. – said Krzysztof Skonieczny during Monday’s meeting. The director together with Jan Frycz, who played Dario in the series, prepared the SerialCon audience for an all-night-marathon of ‘Blinded by the lights’.
This wasn’t Krzysztof Skonieczny’s first visit to the Mastercard OFF CAMERA Festival. His film ‘Hardkor Disco’ took part in the Main Competition ‘Path Finders’ in one of the previous editions. This year he visited SerialCon with ‘Blinded by the lights’, a production based on the novel by Jakub Żulczyk. Alicja Myśliwiec, who hosted Monday’s meeting with the director, asked whether the series is a continuation of the artistic program Skonieczny designed in his first film.
‘Imagination is a capricious matter’
- I agree, it’s part of my director statement – admitted Skonieczny. – Yet, it’s hard for me to come back now to ‘Blinded by the lights’ as I’m done with series for now. Currently, I’m working on directing theatre play and that changes my perspective. The series lights’ was supposed to be something independent and radical from the very beginning; something that I could feel. I wanted imagination to fly into areas of its own choice. It’s a very capricious matter. I agreed with HBO at the start that I would only make these series if they’d let me do it my way. It worked out. I would call the outcome deep HBOff.
Jan Frycz, who plays Dario in the series, admitted that he wasn’t enthusiastic about playing in the series in the start. – At first, I was rather reluctant, but then I’ve realized that Krzysztof is on some kind of journey. He’s completed a tremendous amount of work with this project, and he was irritated, because I did not quite get his idea. Still, we quickly managed to come to terms.
- What matters most was that he start of the collaboration was honest and real. There was no bullshit or strange gestures. – added Skonieczny.
Is Warsaw the Moloch?
The audience asked how the series is constructed. The questions resolved around i.a. the design of the city: how to find a space adequate to Żulczyk’s text? Is the city a Moloch that destroys people? - We wrote the script from scratch together with Kuba (Żulczyk – editorial note), of course based on the book. – said Skonieczny. – The majority or the text is an internal monologue of the main hero who continuously vivisects his own person. What’s interesting, Kuba said that he would have written the book differently, having known the series. The series, however, is a standalone piece. Kuba did not participate in the pre-production, shooting, and post-production. He watched the series with a fresh eye. The vision was mine, that’s why the observation of the city is fully mine. It’s not only Warsaw, but rather a universal city archetype. The capital served as a matrix in which the story takes place. Still, it could be happening in any world metropolis. As Frycz mentioned, constructing this story was very demanding. I was very afraid of this task. I stuck to words, because I knew they had to be well-thought, refined and authentic. It was a long and hard work. Take Kamil Nożyński, who played Kuba, for example. He paid a great price for this role. I witnessed myself the hard times he went through outside the set.
An eight-hour-long series trance
The meeting prepared the audience for all-night-long marathon with the series ‘Blinded by the lights’. The event was extremely popular. Both series fans who already watched it and wanted to see it again on the silver screen, or those curious of Skonieczny’s effect, formed a long line to the screening hall in Małopolski Ogród Sztuki. The lucky ones who got into the screening, did not hold their excitement.
-It’s my first series marathon, and I’m happy I will be watching ‘Blinded by the lights’ – said Gosia, a newbie to the SerialCon. – I don’t often repeat watching series, but I will make an exception for this one. I’ve seen the entire series and it made a huge impression on me! It’s a great Polish series. I can even say I’m proud of it.
-I have already watched ‘Blinded by the lights’ before, but I think my perception now will be different. – said Kuba, also a newcomer to the SerialCon. – The first time, I watched it with breaks. I think it’s a very cinematic series, so now I will have the chance to see it like an 8-hour film. Episodes make you want to stop watching and exit the story being told. Together, I’m counting for a series trance.
Joanna Barańska, Jakub Hospod