On May 5th me and Bill Plympton were invited to do Battle of Sexes in Warsaw, at Planete DOC festival. When we arrived we discovered that the event is taking place at a building of phallic significance. The unofficial name for the building is Stalin’s Finger, meaning, his middle finger. Apparently, Stalin decided to develop a special Soviet style architecture, magnificent in appearance, menacing in political meaning. Seven such buildings were built in Moscow and one in Riga, one in Warsaw. With Stalin long dead and Soviet Union vanished the buildings still stand like eternal dicks carved out of stone reminding the populace of the times they rather not remember.
But, luckily, people in Warsaw found a great usage for this building. Kinoteka has several movie theaters there. Planete DOC Film Festival resides there, radiating powerfully the message of future, culture and hope.
Then, as you turn around to access the scale of this brick dick you can’t help noticing another phallic building, right across the street from it. Marriott Hotel, 40 stories high, represents phallic aspirations of another era. Marriott doesn’t shy from the culture, though. It hosted all the filmmakers, in soft beds with silky sheets.
Well, local wonders aside, we got work to do: Battle of Sexes.
Here’s a picture taken 3 minutes before the start of the show: Bill Plympton as Bill Plympton, Ania as Applause Girl, Janusz as Mad Scientist and me dressed as Signe Baumane if she had some glamor.
The concept of the show is childishly simple: I show 5 animated shorts about sex done by women, Bill shows 5 animated sex shorts done by men, the audience votes with applause and at the end of the night you know which gender is better at making animated sex films. Applause Girl tells the audience when to applaud. Mad Scientist measures the sound levels of the applause. Very objective and scientific.
In Warsaw, it seems, people are keen on sex – we have a sold-out house:
Nevertheless, we kiss and line up for the last photo with Dorota Chrobak- the organizer of the event (without her he would have had the masterful props, the lights, the theater, the audience, the DVD player, she IS the fire! the power!):
(Photos taken by Ola Salwa)