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still from Europa (Stefan & Franciszka Themerson, PL 1931)

The Rediscovery of Europa

Eye on Art: The Rediscovery of Europa

The legendary avant-garde film Europa (1932) was considered lost until recently. The film was seized by the nazis in 1940 and believed to have been destroyed and lost forever. Miraculously, the film was rediscovered in 2019 and will now be presented in Eye in a 2K digital restoration.

poster Eye on Art: The Rediscovery of Europa

Europa is made by Polish artists Stefan and Franciszka Themerson. The presentation of Europa will be introduced by Erik van Zuylen, film director and Themerson connoisseur. Also showing will be earlier reconstructions of Europa created during its absence, and other films that will put Europa into context. Finally, the evening will be graced with the presentation of a new book on Stefan Themerson.

Films in the programme:

Vormittagsspuk (Hans Richter, 1928)

Inflation (Hans Richter, 1928)

Pharmacy (Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, 1930, reconstruction Bruce Checefsky, 2001)

Europa (Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, 1931, reconstruction by Themerson, 1983)

Europa (Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, 1931, restoration, 2021)

Adventure of a Good Citizen (Stefan en Franciszka Themerson, 1937)

Stefan Themerson (1910-1988) and Franciszka Themerson (1907-1988) were Polish artists who met in Warsaw in 1930 and began a lifelong collaboration as writers, illustrators, painters, publishers and avant-garde filmmakers. They shared a passion for the art of cinema with modernists such as Man Ray and Fernand Leger and started to make experimental films in the 1930s.

Futurist poem

The body of film works consists of five films produced in Poland between 1930-1937 and two films made during the Second World War in England. Europa (1932) was their second film and the first significant avant-garde film made in Poland. Europa was based on Anatol Stern’s futurist poem from 1929, portraying the current condition of the world.

During the Second World Europa and three other films disappeared and were believed to be destroyed. Only in 2019 a print of Europa was rediscovered and restored on behalf of the Themerson Estate. The film is now available again with a newly commissioned soundtrack composed by Lodewijk Muns.

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Stefan Themerson & Franciszka Themerson

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90 min.

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Eye on Art

Eye on Art is a programme on the intersection between film and other arts. Eye on Art keeps up with current events, with presentations on contemporary artists and programmes that coincide with important exhibitions, manifestations and Eye activities.

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still from Cloacinae Serge Onnen & Sverre Fredriksen, NL 2017)
still from Europa (Stefan & Franciszka Themerson, PL 1931)
still from Europa (Stefan & Franciszka Themerson, PL 1931)
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