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Cinema's Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs
     

Cinema's Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs

by Bill Nichols (Editor)
 

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Péter Forgács, based in Budapest, is best known for his award-winning films built on home movies from the 1930s to the 1960s that document ordinary lives soon to intersect with offscreen historical events. Cinema’s Alchemist offers a sustained exploration of the imagination and skill with which Forgács reshapes such film footage,

Overview

Péter Forgács, based in Budapest, is best known for his award-winning films built on home movies from the 1930s to the 1960s that document ordinary lives soon to intersect with offscreen historical events. Cinema’s Alchemist offers a sustained exploration of the imagination and skill with which Forgács reshapes such film footage, originally intended for private and personal viewing, into extraordinary films dedicated to remembering the past in ways that matter for our future.

Contributors: Whitney Davis, U of California, Berkeley; László F. Földényi, U of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest; Marsha Kinder, U of Southern California; Tamás Korányi; Scott MacDonald, Hamilton College; Tyrus Miller, U of California, Santa Cruz; Roger Odin, U of Paris III Sorbonne-Nouvelle; Catherine Portuges, U of Massachusetts Amherst; Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan U; Kaja Silverman, U of Pennsylvania; Ernst van Alphen, Leiden U, the Netherlands; Malin Wahlberg, Stockholm U.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Péter Forgács is indeed an alchemist, as this insightful compendium of essays proclaims; his extraordinary process transforms ordinary home movies into works of profound and sometimes mysterious beauty. This volume brilliantly articulates the qualities that make his work so distinctive and important, not only as acts of cinematic archaeology but as transformative art. Michael Renov’s concise appreciation of Forgács’ devastating reimagining of pre-Holocaust Jewish family movies in The Maelstrom, and Bill Nichols’s and Scott MacDonald’s revealing interviews with the filmmaker himself, are among the gems to be discovered." —Peter L. Stein, Executive Director, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker

"There are film makers who have created a documentary opus of great significance, and have thereby deepened our understanding of the past. Péter Forgács, Hungarian film maker and media artist, is such a man. He composes films as if they were musical compositions—by using found material." —from the 2007 Erasmus Prize Laudatio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816648757
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
12/02/2011
Series:
Visible Evidence Series
Pages:
294
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Bill Nichols is professor of cinema at San Francisco State University.

Michael Renov is vice dean of academic affairs and professor of critical studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

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