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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:02:38 EDT by admin, 140312 views
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Invited paper by Portuges, Catherine - Plenary Speaker (all papers)
Hollywood on the Danube: Hungarian Filmmakers in a Transnational Context
Exile, emigration and displacement have marked the trajectories of Hungarian filmmakers over the past century. Michael Curtiz, the Korda brothers, André de Toth, Emeric Pressburger, Vilmos Zsigmond, Miklos Rozsa, Peter Lorre, Géza von Radvány and other talented artists have crossed geographical, cultural and linguistic borders, creating such classics as Casablanca, Somewhere in Europe, The Red Shoes and The Lost One. Yet the legendary sign: "It is not enough to be Hungarian, you have to have talent, too!" evokes the ambivalence that accompanied their presence in Hollywood and elsewhere. Illustrated by film extracts, rare footage, personal interviews, and archive photographs, my presentation explores the transnational odysseys of these Hungarian directors, producers, cinematographers, composers, actors and screenwriters whose artistic expertise and European sensibility became an indispensable part of international cinema, suggesting that the challenges of emigration may also offer unexpected opportunities.
Brief Professional Bio:
Catherine Portuges is Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Curator, Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received the Chancellor's Medal for Distinguished Teaching (2010). She was awarded the Pro Cultura Hungarica Medal (Republic of Hungary, 2009) for her contributions to Hungarian cinema, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2007) for her project on Jewish identities in Hungarian filmmaking. With a PhD in French from UCLA, her books include Screen Memories: the Hungarian Cinema of Márta Mészáros (Indiana, l993) and Cinemas in Transition: Post-socialist East Central Europe (co-edited with Peter Hames, Temple, 2012). Her most recent essays have appeared in Cinema's Alchemist: The Films of Péter Forgács ( 2012); The Reception of the Holocaust in Post-Communist Europe (2012); Blackwell Companion to East European Cinema ( 2012); and The Modern Jewish Experience in World Cinema (2012). She is a frequent lecturer at international conferences, an invited programmer, curator and consultant for film festivals and colloquia, and a delegate to international film festivals.