Semináře IDF na festivalu Jeden Svět - PETER FORGÁCS
Institute of Documentary Film and One World Documentary Film Festival organize an open Master Class with an outstanding and noted Hungarian filmmaker and visual artist Peter Forgacs, whos documentaries represent one of the most original fields in the non-fiction filmmaking. Peter Forgacs will personally introduce his approach and will place it in the broader context.
Date: Monday March 6 2006
Time: 18:00 - 20:00, followed by the screening of Dusi and Jeno (Private Hungary II.)
Venue: Ponrepo cinema, Bartolomejska 11, Prague 1
As a part of the Master Class several of Forgacs’ short documentary films will be shown, providing a basis for the director to discuss his film project Private Hungary and more generally the use of private film archives as an alternative historical source, or as a type of film archeology. Besides the nature of Peter Forgacs’s authorial approach, the Master Class will touch the following themes: Banality and History, Private vs. Public History, Affective vs Institutional History, The TV doc. genre is against contemplation.
Another guest invited to the Master Class will be Jan Sikl, Czech documentary filmmaker and director of Private Century. The third part of this serie called "Small Russian Clouds of Smoke" will have a premiere on Wed. March 8 at 18:30.
Chairman of the Master Class:
The debate will be moderated by Maria Ferencuhova PhD. from the Slovak Film and Television faculty of the University of Music and Dramatic Arts. Within the faculty she specializes in film-history relations and works as an editor of KINO-IKON – periodical magazine focused on the film theory, history and aesthetics.
" Hungarian director and video-artist Peter Forgacs is best known for his remarkable documentary series on history, Private Hungary, which could in brief be described as re-editing of archive, mostly amateur footage, dating chiefly from the period between the 1920s and 1950s.
Forgacs, however, works with this footage – the imprint of private memory – with a method all his own. He places the original footage – often banal and almost insignificant from any point of view other than family memory – in context with images connoting “great” history and its universally recognizable political and public events. This montage interconnects great and small – or rather public and private – histories, often based on contrast (for instance in The Bartos Family the relative “blindness” of private archives to the impending world war stands in stark contradiction to the facts stated in the commentary and subtitles), or on parallel (in The Danube Exodus the same boat ferries first Jews from Bratislava and Austria down the river to safety, and then the Bessarabian Germans upstream to the front, etc.). Forgacs uses these devices in order to show both sides of a historical period, or at times simply only the down side, at the same time making the viewer more sensitive to the given period. As French film theoretician Roger Odin remarked a propos Forgacs´ films, like the experts in micro-history Forgacs is well aware that by changing the scale one can point to phenomena almost, or altogether invisible from the perspective of official, great history.
What many commentators of his films call the reverse, or parallel history, however, is to Forgacs primarily of emotional nature. His work with music, as well as the archive footage itself (slowing down, pausing on an image, coloring details within the frame, or toning whole sequences) lends the footage a sense of urgency it lacked at the time it was filmed. On the other hand, Forgacs´work is also defined by a thoroughness in researching footage from sources other than the private archives, shifting it from the realm of art to the domain of historical research.
His passion for working with amateur film footage in fact lead Peter Forgacs in 1993 to establish a collection of private films and photographs, lending both his work as filmmaker and his passion for collecting an institutionalized character. The distinct concept of his film, work with archive footage as well as creating new archives thus make Forgacs an original, creative artist able not only to reflect his approaches as a filmmaker, but also to manoeuvre on the so precarious (for being still relatively young, and also changeful in a world of hyperinflation of images) a terrain as audiovisual history, which poses the issues of oppositions such as memory/history, private history/public history, or the question of affective perception of the traces of the past." Maria Ferencuhova, PhD.