"'Les Jeux des Anges' was just extraordinary: that sense that you are on a train with walls of the city going past, and then the sound of angels' wings - incredible."
Based on a series of paintings by the Polish artists and filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk, Les Jeux des Anges takes the viewer into a nightmarish and sinister labyrinth world. With images reminiscent of Bosch and Ernst and an abstract soundtrack the film evoke unspeakable horrors lurking at the heart Borowczyk's masterpiece. Borowczyk described the film himself as "A report on the city of angels."
Walerian Borowczyk studied fine art and worked in lithography and poster design before turning to animation. His first films made with Jan Lenica revealed a bizarre and dark vision with a satirical edge influenced by surrealism. The success of Dom / House (1958) launched his European career and in 1959 Borowczyk moved to France where he expanded the breadth of his work. He collaborated with Chris Marker on Les Astronautes (1959), explored model animation in Renaissance (1963), made an early foray into live action Rosalie (1966) and produced his most celebrated short Les Jeux des Anges (1964), an inspired impressionistic vision of hell on earth. Switching to live action, Borowczyk made impressively original features, especially Goto, l'?Æle d'amour / Goto, Isle of Love (1969) and Blanche (1971). Films such as Immoral Tales (1974) and Le Bete / The Beast (1975) established Borowczyk as something of an ‚Äòeroticist,' but subsequent features saw him fall from critical favor. He died of heart failure on February 2, 2006 .
Walerian Borowczyk, Les Jeux des anges, 1964
¬© courtesy of Ligia Borowczyk