Márta Mészáros occupies a unique position in Hungarian film history. Born in 1931, she studied at the VGIK film school in Moscow and afterwards shot numerous documentaries, most of them shorts. In 1968, she made her feature debut with ELTÁVOZOTT NAP (The Girl), which was also the first Hungarian feature to be shot by a woman, thus introducing a defiantly female perspective to Hungarian and European filmmaking alike. The multi-award winning director, who also won the Berlinale's Golden Bear in 1975 for ADOPTION, is active to this day as a filmmaker. In her first features in particular, her cinematic style is marked by documentary realism and precise depictions of different milieus. She later moved towards a more opulent film language, often drawing on symbolic images while remaining faithful to her themes nonetheless. Women are always at the heart of her films – working women, as Márta Mészáros once emphasized in an interview – and their attempts to gain individual and social independence.
We are very happy to be able to show a selection of Márta Mészáros's most important films from May 13-30, following the tribute to her at the goEast-Filmfestival in Wiesbaden, and are opening the film series with ELTÁVOZOTT NAP accompanied by an introduction by Sabine Schöbel.
In May, we are dedicating the Magical History Tour to the subject of voice, language and speech in cinema. The powerful role played by the voice in film does not just become apparent due to acoustic characteristics, the timbre of the actors’ voices, and their seeming harmony with the film image, but also makes itself particularly felt when both voice and language stand in contrast to such images or diverge from them. It is this type of formal tension that represents the underlying idea and starting point for the plots of many of the films we are presenting in May. Yet we also want to demonstrate linguistic playfulness, the sheer desire to speak, excessive use of the voice, particular stylization techniques, and the conflict between different registers and styles of speech using a range of different film examples. By deliberating moving away from standardized patterns of speech and by creating new linguistic and vocal landscapes, these films do not just reveal new opportunities for identification and create new axes of meaning, but also mark verbalism as an independent means of artistic impression, which goes far beyond its function as the vehicle for a particular text.
A temetetlen halott The Unburied Man
Hungary/Slovakia/Poland 2004 35 mm OV/EnS 127 min
*Poto und Cabengo Jean-Pierre Gorin USA/FRG 1980
16 mm OV/GeS 73 min