American Torso

Feature  |   b&w  |   1975  |   91'

The experimental film takes place in North-Caroline. In the last days of the American civil war three characteristic figures of the 1849 Hungarian emigration fight: the geographer artillery officer Fiala János, the rational scientist, Vereczky Ádám, the heroic fatalist and the attendant of Fiala: the emotional Boldogh, who struggles with homesickness. The fate of all the ""slowed down"" revolutionaries is hopeless. The boasting Vereczky dies a meaningless death on a huge swing which he was able to survey with the theodolite. Boldogh longs for home, maybe to die, while there is only one possibility for Fiala: he can participate in the construction works of the Pacific railway.(Hungarian National Film Archive)


The Béla Balázs Studio

The Béla Balázs Studio was born in 1959 as a grassroot initiative of young filmmakers engaged in the renewal of Hungarian cinematorgraphy, and became institutionalized in 1961 due to the support from the cultural policy-makers of post-56 consolidation.
In the 70s, the BBS, besides young filmmakers graduated from the Hungarian Film Academy, also started to admit “outsiders” in its ranks. Throughout the decade, the Studio was a site of passionate debates animating a progressive workshop atmosphere where experimental, conceptual tendencies competed with documentarist approaches engaged in a social transformation.
Breaking with the avant-guardist attitude, the BBS in the 80s became a free space of “institutional dissidence” characteristic of the time, and a major workshop of Hungarian video-art that by documenting the process of democratization contributed substantially to the deconstruction of state-socialism in Hungary.
Questioning its raison d’etre, the dominant cultural policies of the 90s doomed the workshop to slow atrophy. The Balázs Béla Studio signed its last production in 2005 and ceased to exist in 2010.

The BBS Research Archive

The BBS Research Archive was created as a joint initiative of the Balázs Béla Studio Foudation, the Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle Budapest and the Hungarian National Film Archive in 2006. The purpose of the Archive is to disseminate the films and various documents produced during the 50 years of the BBS’ activity. The digital copies and the documents preserved in the library of Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle are available for consultation in the library during official opening hours. Műcsarnok non -profit Ltd. is sustained by the Hungarian Academy of Arts.