Jerzy Skolimowski is one of the most original Polish directors and one of only a handful who has gained genuine recognition abroad. This is the first monograph, written in English, to be devoted to his cinema. It covers Skolimowski's career from his early successes in Poland, such as Identification Marks: None and Barrier, through his emigre films, Deep End, Moonlighting and The Lightship, to his return to Poland where, in 2008, he made the internationally acclaimed Four Nights with Anna. Ewa Mazierska addresses the main features of Skolimowski's films, such as their affinity to autobiographism and surrealism, while discussing their characters, narratives, visual style, soundtracks, and the uses of literature. She draws on a wide range of cinematic and literary texts, situating Skolimowski's work within the context of Polish and world cinema, and drawing parallels between his work and that of two directors, with whom he tends to be compared, Roman PolaA ski and Jean-Luc Godard. 'Ewa Mazierska's monograph is the first book-length study of his [Jerzy Skolimowski's] work, nearly half a century after his emergence as a one-man Polish New Wave ...Mazierska eschews a chronological survey in favour of five themed essays . ..this approach allows her to make connections between outwardly disparate films and mount a convincing challenge to the received opinion that there are fundamental differences between his Polish and non-Polish output ...this is an important, desperately overdue book.' Sight & Sound Ewa Mazierska is Professor of Contemporary Cinema, Department of Humanities, University of Central Lancashire. Her publications include Crossing New Europe: The European Road Movie (Wallflower Press, 2006), Dreams and Diaries: The Cinema of Nanni Moretti (Wallflower Press, 2004) and From Moscow to Madrid: Postmodern Cities, European Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2003), all co-authored with Laura Rascaroli and Women in Polish Cinema (Berghahn Books, 2006), co-authored with ElA bieta Ostrowska.
By the second half of the twentieth century, a new branch of materials science had come into being - crystalline materials research. Its appearance is linked to the emergence of advanced technologies primarily based on single crystals (bulk crystals and films). At the turn of the last century, the impending onset of the "ceramic era" was forecasted. It was believed that ceramics would play a role comparable to that of the Stone or Bronze Ages in the history of civilization. Naturally, such an assumption was hypothetical, but it showed that ceramic materials had evoked keen interest among researchers. Although sapphire traditionally has been considered a gem, it has developed into a material typical of the "ceramic era." Widening the field of sapphire application necessitated essential improvement of its homogeneity and working characteristics and extension of the range of sapphire products, especially those with stipulated properties including a preset structural defect distribution. In the early 1980s, successful attainment of crystals with predetermined char- teristics was attributed to proper choice of the growth method. At present, in view of the fact that the requirements for crystalline products have become more str- gent, such an approach tends to be insufficient. It is clear that one must take into account the physical-chemical processes that take place during the formation of the real crystal structure, i.e., the growth mechanisms and the nature and causes of crystal imperfections.