Apertúra Film-Vizualitás-Elmélet
2011. Summer | Nyomtatás |

Gábor Gelencsér: Fates of servants. A filmic history of a literary motif

In the intermediary period of Hungarian filmic history between 1954-1962, an era of transition between schematism towards modernism, a few films are connected to each other through a common motif (additionally to another common feature that they are all adaptations of literary workds): their main characters are servants, people who are exposed to their fates materially and/or socially. What connects theses partly well known, party less known movies, is the fact that they reflect on the collective Hungarian experience of the 1950s and the period after the fall of the 1956 revolution. thanks to the major motif found in the works of classical authors of the pre-1945 era these movies go beyond explicit political actualization and social criticism, and rather express the anthropological essence of the era through the stories of servants. Based on the above perspective, the paper analyses six films directed by Zoltán Fábri, János Herskó, Félix ; Máriássy, Imre Fehér, and Endre Marton.
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Kiss Attila Atilla: Pages of recollections. Retrology, anatomy and memory in early modern and post-modern English drama

In this paper I introduce the term retrology to signify the social ideology which compels the subject to reconstruct and appropriate the past, and employs this idea of the past to articulate a vision of the future in a teleological narrative of progress. Both early modern and postmodern dramas question the possibility of this retrological reconstruction, and the plays thematize the retrological catastrophes together with the epistemological and thanatological crisis that are so characteristic of the two periods. My investigation attempts to compare how English protomodern and postmodern dramas employ the traditions of the memory theater and the anatomy theater in mapping the retrological questions.
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Anikó Oroszlán: "What's in a name?" Johnny English and the Renaissance comic tradition

The paper examines the self-legitimising system of gestures that is characteristic of early modern comic players as well as Shakespearean clowns. As I will argue, this kind of acting is detectable in the film Johnny English (2003) too; what is more, the name of the main character is rich in early modern theatrical references. Not only the main interluder of Henry VII, but also the leading actors of travelling troupes were often called ‘English John'.

Nevertheless, Johnny English is a parody of another well-known figure of the popular tradition: as a clumsy national anti-hero, he ironically represents both secret agent 007 and the English comedian as ‘servants' to the crown.

When analysing this, it is also interesting to consider that Rowan Atkinson can be seen as the early modern comedians' successor, since his private self and the comic image (cf. Mr. Bean) cannot be separated clearly.
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Lóránt Stőhr: Reality cinema in the digital age. The reinterpretation of fiction and documentary based on the DVD text of I Am Not Your Friend

The new digital technologies challenge the traditional status of documentary and narrativity in moving picture. Lev Manovich writes on DV-realism and projects the future of film makers as interface designers who work with (quasi-)documentary materials. The DVD is one of the most popular media of films, its simple interface handles moving pictures, sound tracks, texts and photos arranged in a database structure. With these features the DVD can change the way we understand narratives. The paper explores the permanent changes of interpretation levels of narrative and documentary materials during the navigation on the DVD intratext. My example is György Pálfi's I Am Not Your Friend-project, a collection of documentaries and improvised fiction film that exist only on DVD. This case study will focus on different forms and levels of performativity of the project in order to prove that this DVD intratext eliminates the border between fiction and documentary, and works rather as a catalogue of human behavior than a collection of (fictive and documentary) narratives.
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Dispute

Miklós Sághy: The future of film: database or/and (interactive) narrative?

In my essay, continuing the debate with Zoltán Dragon (Apertúra Spring 2011), I primarily argue that database structure and contemporary (digital) film narrative cannot be compared, since they are completely different entities. Instead of this kind of comparison, I suggest that we should comprehend the impact of digital media on filmic storytelling by means of matching interactive narratives (which we know from video and computer games) with traditional narratives.
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Zoltán Dragon: New movie, or the whole world is a database. Reply on Miklós Sághy's reflections entitled The future of film: database or/and (interactive) narrative?

The paper addresses questions and issues raised by Miklós Sághy's reflection, "The Future of Film: Database and/or (Interactive) Narrative?". Besides providing definitions for the most important terminology deployed in the essay, the paper tackles different aspects of digital moving pictures, such as algorithm, database, and code. The logics and connections of algorithm and database are discussed in relation with possible ways of representations of the interface. Furthermore, the study also touches on the latest modes of representation and future potentials of the digital film, and introduces the term "new movie" (cf. new media) that covers the surfacing of code in the realm of representation - an element of the digital that has hitherto been seen as an underlying organizing aspect.
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Deleuzeian reading of authorial portraits

Győri Zsolt: Cracks and fissures: notes on the oeuvre of John Huston

My study hopes to introduce a Deleuzeian auterist reading of the oeuvre of John Huston and thus enrich the study of his cinema. Although Deleuze takes little time to discuss Huston's body of works, I am convinced that it is possible to establish a lively dialogue between the stylistic and narrative features of his films and the concepts Deleuze discusses in relation to the action-image, that, is classical Hollywood cinema. In my understanding Huston made it his primary goal to address 20th century existence as something closely linked to the feeling of homelessness and isolation and being enslaved by passions and anxieties. He always turned towards human miseries and a world of emptiness with deep humanity and fascination, and likewise made sure that besides desolation he also captured moments of genesis, the birth of new sensibilities, values, deeds and ideas. In each film analyzed I take a close look at psychological realism as a mode of address and hope to find answers to the following questions: what makes the active and passive hero, what is the dramatic logic of conflicts, what types of conflicts does Huston employ and why?
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Tamás Soós: "Everything That Shines": The (Moving) Images of Terrence Malick

The essay concentrates on the visual, specifically "filmic" components - pictorial compositions, editing technique, mise-en-scéne - of the films of Terrence Malick, taking these elements as constituents of his auteurist way of visual thinking, which can probably shed new light on his recurrent themes and motifs. While drawing up the ("transcendental") Weltanshaung of Malick's movies, Deleuze's "taxonomy of images" allows us to systematize the director's narrative and visual techniques. At the same time my analysis of Malick's oeuvre proves that Deleuze's film theory, which renders film history into "classic" (movement-images) and "modern" (time-images) periods, can be applied to "postmodern" cinema, exemplified by Malick's more recent films, which rely on movement-images and time-images alike.
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Zsóka Berta: Time Becoming Texture

The essay addresses the most significant theme of Wong Kar-wai's cinema - the correspondence of past, present and recollection - through key concepts of Gilles Deleuze's film theory. My paper also hopes to explicate the ways the visual image articulates spatiality and temporality with reference to Wong's use of slow motion. Specific scenes and sequences containing slow motion and other techniques associated with the manipulation of time are examined in the films of Wong Kar-wai. At the same time I also explain why I think these stylistic techniques form the backbone of Wong's reflections on social and cultural phenomena. In the focus of my arguments on style and its rendering of spatiotemporal relations is the conviction that at the centre of Wong's cinematic vision as an auteurist trait is the idea according to which human existence is not so much spatial but embedded in time.
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Orsolya Böszörményi-Nagy: Buster Keaton and the Large Form of the Burlesque

My paper hopes to reveal the "secret" of Buster Keaton through key concepts and arguments borrowed from the film theory of Gilles Deleuze. In the first part of my essay I propose an overview of the famous slapstick-mechanism, while in the next part I examine if Keaton's feature films directed in the 1920 stand the test of time and are still valid for the audience of our days. The Deleuzian interpretation of each movie is indeed legitimate since the philosopher instinctively pointed out one of Keaton's major innovations: his ability to mould slapstick into the "large form" of the action-image, thus giving rise to feature-length slapstick comedy for the first time in film history.
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Ádám Szabó: The Depiction of Uselessness in the Cinema of Nicolas Winding Refn

My essay offers an analysis of useless and dysfunctional characters populating the films of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. My interpretation is strongly inspired by key concepts of Gilles Deleuze's film theory. The Danish auteur features social outcasts in all of his films whose condition can be described either as falling down or disintegrating. Deleuze's concept of the time image - itself a way of giving recognition to the deteriorating harmony between man and the world - offers an ideal analytical framework to examine useless people who are incapable of adapting to the expectations and principles of the milieu they inhabit. In my study I also use Deleuzeian sound-theory to describe music as the "archeological, stratigraphic and tectonic" function of the image, since in my opinion Refn uses his trade mark, disharmonic noises, to make us not only see but hear the disintegration of characters. The study also hopes to prove that besides the aforementioned components the disorientation experienced by Refnian heroes is a silent explosion", that is, a burst of rage culminating in unbound and irrational violence, which is very much different in nature from the useful and rational acts of aggression characterising the classical hero of the action image. Irrational violence in my understanding appears in the paradigm of the time-image as a symptom of the incapability of action and a sign of uselessness.
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Book Reviews

Diána Gollowitzer: Borderline case (Király Hajnal: Könyv és film között. A hűségelven innen és túl -- Review)

The book of Hajnal Király was published in the autumn of 2010. It is about adaptation, or more precisely, about the deconstruction of fidelity criticism in the context of adaptation theory. The author approaches this recent and urgent problem from several perspectives and offers a new way to interpret books and movies.
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Eszter Ureczky: The arrival of the Brits? (Zsolt Győri ed. Fejezetek a brit film történetéből - Review)

Zsolt Győri's 2010 anthology Chapters from the History of British Cinema provides a new and long-awaited context for the Hungarian reception of British films. Including fourteen essays and two interviews, the volume focuses on various aspects of the British film industry such as cultural-economic factors, directors, genres and contemporary theoretical discourses of reading cinematic texts. The anthology is the first volume of a planned series, and thus it will surely prove a useful source for researchers of film studies and cultural studies as well. Among many other questions, the essays explore the relationship of the British and American markets, the careers of immigrant Easter-European film makers, the documentarism of John Grierson, the adaptations of Bernard Shaw's plays, the British movies of the 1930s and 1940s, heritage films, theories of voyeurism (Peeping Tom. Michael Powell, 1960), class matters (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Tony Richardson, 1962), Peter Greenaway's The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave (1994).
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