Sat

24/06

Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 16:15

AZ OBSITOS

Béla Balogh
Introduce

Mariann Lewinsky e Karl Wratschko

Piano accompaniment by

Gabriel Thibaudeau

Projection
Info

Saturday 24/06/2017
16:15

Subtitle

Original version with simultaneous translation through headphones

[ANNONCES POUR EXPLOITANTS 1917]

Film Notes

As the First World War dragged on, film became an increasingly important propaganda tool. By 1917 even the public service announcements – the theater’s rules of etiquette for the audience shown before a movie started – had been co-opted by the propagandists. Good citizens should not only be told how to behave properly in the cinema: in such troubled times, they must be reminded how to think and act in general. These are public service announcements screened by French cinema operators throughout 1917; all of them were found on a reel in its present compiled form. Most of them would work just as well in our own troubled times.

Karl Wratschko

Cast and Credits

 T. alt.: [Announcements for Movie Theater Operators, 1917] 35mm. L.: 38 m. Bn

HOLLAND IN IJS

Film Notes

Though the Netherlands officially kept out of the First World War, the country did experience an involvement of its own – when a huge wave of refugees arrived in its safely neutral harbours. Yet even in such difficult times, life goes on – and in Holland in ijs the thrills and spills of daily life are presented in all their glory. The winter of 1917 was a brutally cold one but the people are enjoying themselves in the great outdoors, feeding the birds, skating, even sailing in special yacht-sleighs on the ice, and posing happily for the camera. Such footage is so precious, and, in this instance, so beautifully-shot and exquisitely-coloured, and it rarely makes it into the history books – which is why we believe it’s as important as anything else in our show. So please, relax, open your eyes wide, and enjoy this year’s most aesthetically-pleasing reel – before we get back to the tough stuff again.

Karl Wratschko

 

Cast and Credits

F.: Willy Mullens. Prod.: Alberts Frères  35mm. L.: 268 m. D.: 13’ a 18 f/s. Tinted and toned

ONCLE SAM

Film Notes

In 1917 the United States entered the First World War, a decision which was not met with universal support at home. An all-American branding campaign was the obvious solution, and patriotic and pro-war messages began to pop up across all kinds of media in all kinds of forms – not least, at the movies, where a lot of the propaganda was served up in the form of animation. Our fragment Oncle Sam is a classic of the genre, artfully combining hand-drawn elements with sculpted clay to work its mind-altering magic.

Karl Wratschko

Cast and Credits

T. alt.: [Uncle Sam] 35mm. L.: 55 m. (frammento). Tinted

PETROGRAD I REVOLUTIONENS TEGN

Film Notes

There were actually two revolutions in Russia in 1917. This short animated fragment revisits both these historic episodes, flanking them at the opening and the end with timeless scenes from the Arctic. We begin with the Sami, the nomadic tribespeople of the North, whose life has remained largely unchanged for generations. Then we cut to scenes from the revolutions in Petrograd (latterly Leningrad and St. Petersburg), visiting the Winter Palace and meeting two of the main protagonists along the way. The clip ends with a shot of an icebreaker making its way through the frozen sea. Though the film was obviously made sometime after 1917, it portrays the events of that year with such poetry and in such wonderful colours that you’ll forgive us for sneaking it into our programme.

Karl Wratschko

Cast and Credits

 T. alt.: [Petrograd in the Sign of Revolution] 35mm. L.: 72 m (frammento). D.: 3’ a 18 f/s. Tinted and toned.

DIE MUNITIONSFABRIK MANFRED WEISS IN BUDAPEST–CEPEL IM WELTKRIEG

Film Notes

“It has to be said right away, this film […] represents a high point of cinematographic craftsmanship”. A fundamentally enthusiastic review published by the magazine “Der Kinobesitzer” after a promotional screening by the production company Sascha-Film manages to dress this film’s pictures of household items and church bells being manufactured into ammunition as a proof of technical ability and productiveness. “We could watch the transformation of church bells into copper and learn how the copper was made into brass, how scrap metal turned into steel and then into perfect artillery missiles”. Contemporary audiences, though, might have been fascinated by this intriguing piece of cinematographic work because it was an uncommonly frank document showing the general shortage of resources that affected both the military and everyday routine within the borders of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy by 1917.

Anna Dobringer

Cast and Credits

T. int.: [Munitions Factory of Manfred Weiss, Budapest]. Prod.: Sascha-Film 35mm. L.: 143 m. D.: 6’ a 20 f/s. Bn.

AZ OBSITOS

Film Notes

The literary source was a play adapted from an operetta that had great success before WWI in Hungary, but also played in Vienna and in the USA. The film takes place in a village and on the front lines; the plot was well-known. A lovelorn young man leaves his parental home, his mother and beautiful sister.
He becomes a soldier, fights for years and in the meantime meets a fellow soldier who is his double and stays with him until the very last moment. This friend wants to bring the news about the protagonist’s death home, but the family mistakes him for their son, not knowing he is already dead. The film is a bold indictment of the war. At the beginning and the end, the angel of peace appears at the front to reconcile the soldiers fighting against each other. Surprisingly, it presents the war as if it had already ended.
The director was a disabled soldier and this was one of his first films. His male protagonists are also veterans; one of them served on the front lines in Italy and France. With few exceptions, the scenes were shot outdoors, not in a studio, which created a sensation at the time. There was nothing artificial about the actors as some of them stood before the cameras without any previous experience. This sometimes leads us to feel as if we were watching an early neorealist film.
The film survived in a 17.5 mm Pathé Rural print, making the film restoration very difficult in the late 1980’s, when technologies were considerably less advanced then today. The print we are presenting is therefore far from being perfect. This film marked the beginning of the restoration of silent films in the Hungarian National Film Archive and the print is far from perfect.

Márton Kurutz

Cast and Credits

T. int.: The Soldier on Leave. Scen.: da una pièce di Károly Bakonyi. F.: Béla Zsitkovszky. Int.: Ilona Mattyasovszky (Juliska), Attila Petheő (Gyuri), Ottó Torday (András), Juci Boyda (Málcsika), Margit Papír (Málcsika da giovane), Ágh Ilona Veszpréminé (madre di Gyuri), János Komjáthy (Mózsi Buzogány), Gusztáv Vándory (Józsi). Prod.: Astra Film Budapest. 35mm (blow-up from a 17,5mm print). Bn