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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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Waiting, Hoping, among the Ruins of All the Rest

Waiting, Hoping, among the Ruins of All the Rest

(p.96) 6 Waiting, Hoping, among the Ruins of All the Rest
Cinema's Alchemist

Kaja Silverman

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on Péter Forgács’s video films. Forgács’s video films concentrate on periods of extraordinary upheaval and cultural loss—World War II and the establishment of east-bloc Communism. His video films are structured almost entirely of home-movie footage shot by amateur photographers between 1929 and 1969. A home movie focuses on emotionally charged moments, and with the exception of occasions like weddings, it is more concerned with personal than with social events. Forgács uses home movies because he is not interested in recounting history in any of the usual ways. The significant moments of the twentieth century are always present in his films. Forgács marginalizes official history because he wants us to understand that time does not unfold through a collective narrative.

Keywords:   Péter Forgács, video films, World War II, Communism, home-movie footage, amateur photographers, home movies, history

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