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Raoul Servais

Raoul Servais urodził się w 1928 r. W wieku dwudziestu dwóch lat ukończył Akademię Sztuk Pięknych w Gandawie, a od 1953 roku pracował jako asystent sławnego surrealisty Rene Magritte'a. Realizację filmów animowanych rozpoczął w 1957 roku. W latach 1985-94 był przewodniczącym Międzynarodowego Stowarzyszenia Twórców Filmów Animowanych ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation). Jego najbardziej znanym filmem jest "Harpia" z 1979 roku nagrodzona Złotą Palmą w Cannes.

Niezwykle różnorodna twórczość artysty, na którą składa się około dwudziestu filmów animowanych, w tym jeden pełnometrażowy, wywodzi się z kultury flamandzkiej i oscyluje wokół ekspresjonizmu oraz realizmu magicznego. Niemałe znaczenie dla wykształcenia indywidualnego stylu reżysera miała także wspomniana współpraca z Magrittem.

Według słów Profesora Jerzego Kuci, członka Rady Programowej Krakowskiej Fundacji Filmowej, Raoul Servais wniósł w światowy film animowany własną koncepcję filmu autorskiego cechującego się głębokim humanizmem, uwrażliwieniem na sprawy obywatelskie i społeczne, penetrującego zakamarki ludzkiej duszy.

Raoul Servais was born in Qstend on 1st May 1928. In 1950 he graduated from the applied arts department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.

Already in 1946, with the aid of his professor and a few friends, he produced a short cartoon entitled “Een spookhistorie” (Une histoire de fantome, A History of a Ghost). This film has been shot with a camera made of a cigarbox and parts of a “Small Mechanic” toy kit for kids… Having made some experimental films on a 8 mm reel, he decided to thoroughly study the applications of an animated cartoon. Step by step, owing to his perseverance and obstinacy, he became a master. Servais is an example of a self-tought man with iron-firm determination. Armed with the technical learning, he set about making animated films. His brilliant career in this field, however, should not make us forget the fact, that he had been a very active painter and graphic artist — winning awards at many painting and graphic art competitions - and had also participated with Rene Magritte in the making of the monumental “Domaine Enchante” (Spell-bound Manor). Film has nevertheless remained his main objective. In 1960, as mentioned in his filmography, he completed his first animated cartoon - “Havenlichten” (Lumieres du port, Lights of the Harbour). From then on his films never fail to appear regularly, winning numerous awards and important distinctions all the world over. His awarded films are enumerated in the alphabetical order in the appendix. Member of the Academic Royale des Sciences, Lettres et Beaux-Arts de Belgjque (Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts), Raoul Servais has been a professor of Academic Royale des Beaux-Arts (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Ghent since 1960. There, with a lot of verve, he has been supervising the animated cartoon department. Mention must also be made of the fact, that for a couple of years now he has been a lecturer in Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture et des Arts Visuels (National Higher School of Architecture and Visual Arts) in Brussels (La Cambre).

Raoul Servais’ career means putting himself constantly to test, perpetually overcoming his own self - as far as both his creative works and his techniques are concerned. It is worth stressing, that each of his films renovates graphic expression’. Full of contempt for repetitions, Servais in his films confronts the spectator with the multiple aspects of his artistic activity.

If we realize such obvious facts like the abuse of all film genres, unevenness-whatever this might imply - warranting his dedication, Raoul Servais is then a totally committed artist, deeply concerned with honesty with which we should face life and the rules life imposes. In this state of mind commitment is inevitable. Servais - a contestator certainly not without reason, is no opportunist. He is human in the broadest sense.

Brutal accents are rarely found in his films. It is refinement and poetry that make his message universal. Raoul Servais was a member of the jury of the international festivals in Cracow, Oberhausen, Teheran and New York. (michaelspornanimation)

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