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Cinema's AlchemistThe Films of Péter Forgács$
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Bill Nichols and Michael Renov

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816648740

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816648740.001.0001

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Toward a New Historiography

Toward a New Historiography

The Aesthetics of Temporality

(p.59) 3 Toward a New Historiography
Cinema's Alchemist

Ernst van Alphen

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines Péter Forgács’s slow-motion technique and manipulation of the film time. It discusses that the effect of repersonalization brought about by Forgács’s films is not only the result of the specific genre of home movies but also the result of his intensification of qualities of the broader genre of the moving image as such. Forgács manipulation of moving images—back and forth movement, slow-downs, the stopping for a few seconds—creates a rhythm that makes the aliveness of the movements a deeply sensorial experience. The technique creates a distance between real time and the time of the moving images. This denaturalizes the viewer’s reception of time and movement, as a result of which the viewer become overwhelmed by the life embodied in these moving images.

Keywords:   Péter Forgács, slow-motion technique, film time, home movies, manipulation, genre, moving images, sensorial experience

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