Cinema's Alchemist The Films of Peter Forgacs

by Michael Renov

Part of the Visible Evidence Series

Cinema's Alchemist The Films of Peter Forgacs Synopsis

P\u00e9ter Forg\u00e1cs, 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\u2019s Alchemist offers a sustained exploration of the imagination and skill with which Forg\u00e1cs 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; L\u00e1szl\u00f3 F. F\u00f6ld\u00e9nyi, U of Theatre, Film and Television, Budapest; Marsha Kinder, U of Southern California; Tam\u00e1s Kor\u00e1nyi; 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.

Cinema's Alchemist The Films of Peter Forgacs Press Reviews

There are film makers who have created a documentary opus of great significance, and have thereby deepened our understanding of the past. Peter Forgacs, 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 Peter Forgacs 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 Forgacs' 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

Book Information

ISBN: 9780816648757
Publication date: 15th November 2011
Author: Michael Renov
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: The arts: general issues, Electronic, holographic & video art,

About Michael Renov

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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