New East Digital Archive

Michał Marczak — New East 100

22 July 2017

Polish filmmaker Michał Marczak made his debut in 2012 with an outlandish documentary about one of the world’s most bizarre environmental NGOs called Fuck the Forest, but it was his next feature film that caught the critics’ attention. All These Sleepless Nights gave a voice to Polish youth in a way that had never been done before, and cut through the darker themes explored in recent Polish cinema in favour of focusing, in Marczak’s words, on “the little things in life”. The film portrays the reality of being young with great urgency, without Marczak ever having to resort to cliche or exaggeration — the result of the director’s decision to work with real people rather than actors, creating a quasi-documentary of sorts.

It seems that Marczak could soon be abandoning documentary filmmaking — the director has plans to make a sci-fi, a genre he experimented with in Mark Pritchard’s 2016 video for Beautiful People, which features Thom York as a futuristic android. The director’s recent video for Radiohead’s hauntingly beautiful track I Promise gives a glimpse of what to expect from his next film in terms of storytelling. The video also centres around an android, yet is firmly rooted in the present day by evoking what it feels like to take a bus through the city alone at night.