Parasomnia Preview & Tribute to Zdzislaw ksinski with Masters of Horror in Person – March 5

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By Steve Biodrowski • March 3, 2009

PARASOMNIA – the new independent horror film from director William Malone (HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL) – screens at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood as part of a tribute to the late artist Zdzislaw Beksinksi, whose work inspired the movie’s dreamscape imagery. Before the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Malone, Tobe Hooper (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), Wes Craven (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR), and Mick Garris (MASTERS OF HORROR). Director Richard Elfman (FORBIDDEN ZONE) will moderate. Valdemar Plusa,  Beksinksi’s friend and agent, will introduce the program.

The tribute is part of an attempt to promote PARASOMNIA, which takes much of its inspiration from Beksinksi, even translating some of his paintings into three-dimensions – as film sets. Malone concevied the film while watching the 1919 silent classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, which famously translated the aesthetic of Expressionistic art into the cinematic medium. The story involves a mad doctor who hypnotizes a somnambulist into kidnapping a young woman.

It just occurred to me that nobody had done a movie about a sleepwalker in a very long time,” Malone recalls. “That’s prime material for horror. There have been actual cases of people who sleepwalked and murdered people and actually were able to get off because they didn’t know what they were doing. Watching that, I thought that was a good concept. I started doing research on the Internet and came up with Parasomnia, which is a catch-all for a number of sleep disorders, including night terrors and sleepwalking. I read an article about a girl who had been asleep twenty years and suddenly woke up. I thought that would be a good premise for a film. It snow-balled as I started putting the story together. As I did research, I wondered what her dreams would be like. Where does she live in her head? What is her life like in her dreams? While making FEAR.COM, I had seen a book on this guy, Zdzislaw Beksinski, and I became fascinated with is artwork. I had wanted to use his stuff ever since then, and this was the right way to use it.”

In a sense, this is similar to the approach that director Alfred Hitchcock took in SPELLBOUND, hiring surrealist artist Salvador Dali to design the dream sequence. Malone himself has worked on two unrelaized projects in which he hoped to utlize the work of Swiss artist H. R. Giger (ALIEN), but this is the first time he has managed to realize his goal of taking an artist’s work and realizing it as a motion picture.

After writing the screenplay, Malone financed the film independently, hoping to sell it to a distributor once it was finished.

“Sadly, our timing was appallingly bad,” he laments. “As we were finishing the movie, the whole independent film thing just collapsed. Someone wrote an article titled, ‘Independents: The Sky is Falling – Really.’ Probably stupid of me: at the time, I thought when we were done with the movie, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem if it was a cool, weird movie, but – wrong!”.
Taking the route of many low-budget horror films seeking U.S. distribution, Malone hopes that exposure on the festival circuit and at special events could lead to a U.S. distribution deal (the film has been sold in some foreign territories). PARASOMNIA already played at Screamfest last October; the Egyptian screening (courtesy of the American Cinematheque) is the next step in the process – which is also designed to raise awareness among horror fans. Although the film lacks the kind of mega-wattage starpower that appeals to distributors, PARASOMNIA is a cult movie fan’s dream. With Dylan Purcell and Cherily Wilson in the leads, the supporting cast is filled out with Patrick Kilpatrick (MINORITY REPORT, REPLACEMENT KILLERS), Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR), Kathryn Leigh Scott (DARK SHADOWS), and Sean Young (BLADE RUNNER).

“This is a movie that, because it’s kind of an unusual film, I think audiences have to see it,” says Malone . ”We have to build a groundswell of interest in the film, which is what we’re doing with the festivals – although we actually have only been to Screamfest at this point. I don’t think we got enough promotion to let people know it was out there; actually, we had a good turnout, but it would have been nicer if we had more. Right now we’re trying to do most of our promotion on the Internet, and we have this event, which is part and parcel of our [effort to] generate interest from U.S. distributors. It’s interesting because we haven’t had the [Egyptian tribute screening] yet but we’ve already been contacted by a number of distributors. So – so far, so good.”

Beksinski’s death articles

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Polish Artist Beksinski
Found Murdered
Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:41 AM ET

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish contemporary artist Zdzislaw Beksinski, famed for his haunting fantasy paintings, has been found murdered at his home, police said Tuesday.
Police said they found multiple wounds on Beksinski’s body, discovered at his flat in a prestigious Warsaw neighborhood.
“His body was found late last night by his family. He had several wounds, some on his chest, which could have been caused by for example a dagger,” police spokeswoman Zuzanna Talar said.
The 75-year-old artist became famous around Europe and Japan in the 1970s and 80s for his paintings that depicted disfigured objects or people against a background of hazy romantic light.
“He was one of the best known artists of Poland. He created a language, a climate of horror and secrecy in his paintings. He engaged people’s imagination and it was very convincing,” said Katarzyna Nowakowska-Sito, curator ofmodern art at Warsaw’s National Museum.
Beksinski, born in the south-east town of Sanok in 1929, was also a photographer and sculptor, and drew pictures often compared to the work of Austrian Ernst Fuchs, founder of a fantastic-realism school.

Polish painter Beksinski
found dead
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

WARSAW, Poland — Zdzislaw Beksinski, a leading Polish surrealist painter known for his images of death, was found stabbed to death at his Warsaw home on Tuesday, police said.
Relatives found Beksinski’s body overnight, and “everything indicates it was murder,” police spokeswoman Zuzanna Talar said. He suffered multiple stab wounds, and police said there were no signs of forced entry or robbery.
Beksinski, 75, was considered one of Poland’s leading contemporary artists. He emerged on the Polish art scene in the 1950s and was best known for his abstract renditions of skeletons, monster-like creatures and other apocalyptic images evoking death and decay.
“We all see death before our eyes,” Beksinski said at the opening of an exhibition of his work at Warsaw’s Zacheta Gallery in 2002, the news agency PAP reported. “I am not an exception.”
“Personally, I am more afraid of dying than death itself. This is not a fear of emptiness but of suffering – and this is what I am most afraid of.”
Beksinski also enjoyed a large following outside Poland – mainly in France, Japan and the United States – among fans of surrealist art and collectors, said James Cowan, the president of Morpheus Fine Art, which published a book on Beksinski and has sold some of his works.
Cowan said Beksinski’s paintings sold for between $30,000 and $50,000 to collectors – among them a number of “Oscar-winning people in Hollywood.” He said he could not identify the buyers. “He’s just a brilliant modern master,” Cowan said in an interview from his office in Las Vegas. “Poles consider him the finest contemporary artist. But the art goes beyond the borders of Poland. It is … very classical in style.”
Beksinski studied architecture in Krakow before throwing himself into painting, photography and drawings. His works hang in the National Museum in Wroclaw, the National Museum in Warsaw and in a dedicated museum in Sanok, his hometown in southern Poland.
In the 1990s, he expanded his repertoire to include computer-generated images in his trademark surrealist style.
“Zdzislaw Beksinski won our imagination and the hearts of everyone – the public and the critics,” Zacheta Gallery director Agnieszka Morawinska told PAP.
Though Beksinski depicted foreboding, dark images, he always resisted attempts to analyze their meaning.
“It misses the point to ask me what my paintings mean,” he once said. “Simply, I do not know myself. Moreover, I am not at all interested in knowing.”
Beksinski’s wife died several years ago, and a son, Tomasz, committed suicide after battling clinical depression, Cowan said.

Officials: Student Says He Killed Artist
February 26, 2005

REUTERS and ASSOCIATED PRESS
WARSAW, Poland. A 19-year-old student has confessed to killing contemporary artist Zdzislaw Beksinski, who was found with multiple stab wounds in his home this week, Polish prosecutors said yesterday.
They said the student, named only as Robert K., admitted late Thursday to killing the 75-year-old artist, who was famed for his haunting fantasy paintings often depicting death.
“Robert K. is a 19-year-old pupil of a secondary school and he has admitted to the murder. We have charged him,” Warsaw prosecutor Zbigniew Zelaznicki told a news conference. “According to Polish law, he faces life imprisonment.”
The prosecutor said Robert K., the son of a friend of the artist, had gone to Beksinski’s apartment with a 16-year-old relative, Lukasz K., to borrow money from him. They had been ready to use the “ultimate solution” if they failed to get what they wanted, Zelaznicki said.
“We are moved by the senselessness of this crime; we are moved by its ruthlessness,” said Chief Inspector Ryszard Siewierski.
Beksinski became famous around Europe and Japan in the 1970s and ’80s for his paintings.
He was best known for his abstract renditions of skeletons, monster-like creatures and other apocalyptic images evoking death and decay.
Art historian Tomasz Gryglewicz wrote: “Each of Beksinski’s pictures seems to be saying, ‘Memento mori: remember thou shalt die,’ and the message is especially forceful in his representations of the most widespread religious symbol in our civilization: the crucified figure.”
Born in Sanok in 1929, Beksinski was also a photographer and sculptor.

Teen Charged With Artist’s Murder
February 26, 2005

Warsaw authorities charged a 19-year-old man Friday with the murder of surrealist painter Zdzislaw Beksinski.
The suspect, identified only as Robert K., is the son of longtime Beksinski friend and aide Krzysztof K., police said. The two and their 16-year-old relative were all picked up for questioning Wednesday.
The 19-year-old confessed to the Monday night killing while in custody, said prosecutor Zbigniew Zelaznicki.
Beksinski, was considered one of Poland’s leading contemporary artists. He emerged on the Polish art scene in the 1950s and was best known for his abstract renditions of skeletons, monster-like creatures and other apocalyptic images evoking death and decay.
The 75-year-old was found stabbed to death at his Warsaw home Monday night. There were no signs of forced entry or robbery.
A motive was still not clear, though it appeared as if the 19-year-old had tried to borrow money from Beksinski, Zelaznicki said.
The weapon used, which has been recovered by police, was a small knife, he said. Krzysztof K., who ran errands for the painter, has been released but police are still investigating the 16-year-old, Zelaznicki said.

Police charge two in murder of Polish artist
February 26, 2005

Warsaw
Police have charged two people in the murder of surrealist painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, one of Poland’s best known contemporary artists.
On Friday, police charged a man they are identifying only as 19-year-old Robert K. the son of Beksinski’s aide and long-time friend, identified as Krzysztof K. with the artist’s murder. They charged 16-year-old Lukasz K., a relative to the father and son, with accessory to murder.
All three were picked up for questioning Wednesday after the 75-year-old Beksinski was found stabbed to death in his home Monday. There were no signs of forced entry or robbery.
The 19-year-old suspect confessed while in custody, said prosecutor Zbigniew Zelaznicki. Police have also recovered a small knife used in the killing.

Libros sobre Beksinski

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Existen dos libros fundamentales para conocer la obra de Beksinski. Éstos son: Tha Fantastic Art of Beksinski. Morpheus International, 1998) y BEKSINSKI 1,  Bosz Art,  2009). En http://heroictimes.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/on-beksinski-comparing-the-artbooks-fantastic-art-and-beksinski-1/ comparan los dos libros. Iremos aportando lo más interesante de ambos títulos, así como la bibliografía y webgrafía que vayamos encontrando.
Otro libro interesante, y también publicado en el 2011 por  Bosz es:

Puedes ver algunas de ellas en: http://www.culture.pl/web/english/visual-arts-full-page/-/eo_event_asset_publisher/Ny17/content/foto-beksinski-new-album-of-rare-photographs

Opiniones

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“In the medieval tradition, Beksinski seems to believe art to be a forewarning about the fragility of the flesh– whatever pleasures we know are doomed to perish– thus, his paintings manage to evoke at once the process of decay and the ongoing struggle for life. They hold within them a secret poetry, stained with blood and rust.”  Guillermo Del Toro

Primera aproximación a Zdzillaw Beksinski

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Para hacerse una idea de la vasta obra de Beksinski recomendamos visitar el Virtual Museum of Zdzislaw Beksinski. http://www.dmochowskigallery.net/select_gallery.php?lang=e. Impresionante panorámica de la obra pictórica, fotográfica y escultórica del artista. Como él mismo indica, desde 1983  “he trabajado en dar a conocer en todo el mundo la obra de Beksinski . Con el fin de divulgar su obra publiqué dos álbumes monográficos que incluían algunos de sus trabajos. También fui el productor de un corto titulado “A homage to Beksiński”  que fue presentado en el festival de cine de Cannes en 1986. Organicé numerosas exposiciones del artista tanto en Polonia como en el resto de Europa. He escrito también un libro “Struggling for Beksiński”  que cuenta mis intentos por divulgar la figura de Beksinski en Francia. Entre 1990 y 1996 dirigí la GaleríaDMOCHOWSKI, musée-galerie de BEKSINSKI  en la calle Quincampoix de París. Mi mujer y yo poseemos una colección considerable de obras de Beksinski”.

Bienvenida / Welcome

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Ártica Editorial tiene mucho interés en conocer el arte y la figura de Zdzislaw Beksinski. Sus imágenes inquietantes, sus paisajes desolados o sus mundos devastados son cada vez más valorados. Sin embargo, su obra tiene poca difusión y su vida e ideario estético son casi desconocidos. Por ello, desde la editorial vamos a mantener un Blog, con el nombre de Vida y obra de Beksinski  para que quienes esté interesados puedan contribuir a dar a conocer la vida y obra del pintor polaco. Vuestras aportaciones, ya sean en castellano o en inglés, serán muy bien recibidas.

Ártica Editorial is very interested in Zdzislaw Beksinski´s art. His disquieting and heart-rending paintings and prints have an increasing number of admirers, or rather real fans.
Nevertheless, we know few about his troubled live and pictorial or aesthetical ideas. In many aspects, this polish painter remains hidden behind his odd and disturbing images.
Our goal is  to carry out an international collective inquiry and for this purpose we put a new Blog: Bersinski´s live and art at your disposal. Contributions, in Spanish or English, will be welcomed.