Battle of Sexes in Warsaw

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:

The Festival director Artur Liebhart introduces us and the show starts. Here I am pitching women’s films:

Bill pitches men’s films:

Mad Scientist does the mad dance around the Sound Machine:

Tally up the numbers:

Women lose.
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!):

The audience quickly cleared the theater. They were inspired and couldn’t wait to try out the make-up sex. The real battles are won in bedrooms.

(Photos taken by Ola Salwa)

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About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Hazards of being an artist, Uncategorized, Women, Men and Animation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Battle of Sexes in Warsaw

  1. Blu says:

    Hi Signe πŸ™‚
    Those is Blu aka Ania aka Aplauz Girl Arkadiusz Fifi speaking. Uff, what a long name I got πŸ˜‰

    Thanks again for the Battle. It was realy good to be there and take part in it πŸ™‚ Sorry for our quick evacuation but it was late and after those animations we were… you know, im the mood πŸ˜‰

    Can you send me some more photos? We would love to see better how we looked like πŸ˜‰

    Hope to keep in touch! Regards for you and Bill πŸ™‚
    Take care

  2. Blu says:

    Ps
    In that last photo… It’s not us πŸ˜‰

    • Blu, I am so sorry! I can’t believe I posted wrong names under the wrong picture! It is too funny and too scary!
      : )
      I am going to change it right now! I think what happened was that I was jet lagged at the show on Friday (I just arrived to Warsaw few hour before) and when I posted it on Monday I was out of my mind tired (I couldnt sleep at night because of parties and jet lag and couldnt sleep in the morning because I wanted to see things)
      Hope, you understand!
      THANK YOU for being part of the show!

      • Blu says:

        Hey!
        Nothing bad happend πŸ˜‰ Besides… you saw us longer in costumes than without πŸ™‚

        And once again we also THANK YOU for the show!
        Guess we have to do it again some time πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you! you are so kind!
      I just talked to Bill about my mislabeling the picture and he said the same thing – that we saw you without costumes for 5 minutes before the show and then for 2 hours in the costumes and with wigs, se he was confused too at the end of the show – if the people without wigs were you or not. I find it very strange, this confusion… : )
      THANK YOU for understanding!
      And YES lets do the show once again – and make the women win! I start looking for better women films and you start training Warsaw women how to applaud really loud!
      : )
      kisses
      s.

  3. paolo says:

    Hallo Signe,
    great report, as usual.
    It is a pity that we did not meet in Berlin, but maybe in the future…
    Your pictures of the Soviet-like buildings reminded me of similar ones in Karl-Marx-Allee (former Stalinallee) in Berlin. They host apartments and I know a guy, a film scholar, living in one of them; I have been a couple of times at his place, so I could also see how they look like inside. I must say that I liked his flat. And, speaking of phallic buildings, Karl-Marx-Allee begins in Alexanderplatz, where you can find the Television Tower and the Park Inn hotel building. So, phallic buildings are everywhere!

    • Paolo, YES I do love phallic buildings, they are so much fun!
      I do hope to meet you next time when I am in Berlin – I LOVE Berlin and I feel that I could learn a lot from you about Berlin – I stayed at Hotel One on Alexanderplatz and have walked a few times on Karl-Marx Allee but didnt pay attention to Soviet time buildings. Berlin is a fascinating place and for some reason I never had enough time to explore it deeply (went there more than 4 times, but always with a busy schedule…)
      Maybe I should make a special trip to investigate Berlin?
      : )

    • THANK YOU!! Lets keep in touch and see what the future brings.
      Maybe you’ll come to NY one day? I know about 100 things about NY, out of 100 000 000 000 000 000 there is to know about NY
      : )

      • paolo says:

        My ratio (things I know about Berlin)/(things there is to know about Berlin) is about the same, we can make an exchange

    • We make a NY-Berlin experience exchange! That’s a deal!

  4. From my recollection, Stalin’s Finger is a beacon of visual joy compared to the rest of the Soviet architecture in Warsaw. The building itself is interesting whereas every other Soviet structure in town is horrid.

    • YES I agree about Stalin Finger’s visual joy. The negative feeling about it comes from historic/political injustices and abuses, rather than from artistic point of view. It will take some time to erase the negative associations with that building. Around 2050 we might appreciate it without emotions rooted in politics.

  5. paolo says:

    And now there is also Bill’s report of teh event:
    http://scribblejunkies.blogspot.com/2011/05/battle-of-sexes-poland.html

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