Ariadne leaves Naxos for Polish novella film instigated by Wajda school

By Szymon Wackowski and Magda Ulejczyk

    Warsaw (CentEast Daily News) -- Already famous from Greek mythology - and from operas by Monteverdi, Badia, Benda and Strauss - Ariadne on Naxos comes to life again in Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska's Aria Diva. The film is screening at the CentEast market as part of a selection of three 30-minute Polish features presented by the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, the Association of Polish Filmmakers, the TVP Kultura channel, and the Ministry of Culture.

    Aria Diva is based on a short story from Polish author Olga Tokarczuk's book, Playing on Many Drums, already used by Filip Zylber for his TV film, Milosci (2004). It follows Basia, an ordinary wife and mother who falls in love with the voice of an opera diva living upstairs. They develop a peculiar relationship whichis not particularly comfortable for either of them. Partly shot at Warsaw's National Opera, it stars Gabriela Muskała with Katarzyna Figura (Poland's Marilyn Monroe of the 1980s) as the singer.

    Agnieszka Smoczyńska's film is the fifth short made for the Wajda programme, which is set up to provide artistic assistance and production services for local directors who have not yet made their first full-length feature. The aim is to produce 10 30-minute films annually, where young filmmakers will comment on contemporary issues, in order to restore the tradition of novella films.