Stefan Themerson


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An influential couple of the Polish avantgarde, Stefan Themerson (a writer, later famous for his novels) and his wife Franciszka Weinles (a painter) rose to prominence with the abstract animated short Apteka/ The Pharmacy (1930), and then adapted Stern's poem as their short Europa (1932). They belonged to the generation of the Stowarzyszeniem Milosnikow Filmu Artystycznego (Association of Art Film Lovers) or START. They also made eccentric commercial shorts, notably the three-minute Drobiazg Melodyjny/ Melodious Trifle (1933), Zwarcie/ Short-Circuit (1935), whose music was composed by Witold Lutoslawsky, and the dadaist live-action Przygoda Czlowieka Poczciwego/ The Adventure of a Good Citizen (1937).

In 1935 START disbanded, and in 1937 the Themersons and others launched the Spoldzielnia Autorow Filmowych (Cooperative of Film Authors) or SAF.

After World War II the Themersons, now relocated to London, displayed their avantgarde skills in two ten-minute shorts, Wzywamy Pana Smitha/ Calling Mr Smith (1943), a brutal film of anti-German propaganda, and The Eye and the Ear (1945), which animated lieder by composer Karol Szymanowski.

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