The Past Is Present
Von Höfler Vagyok: Werther Variáció
The film will be screened in the presence of: Péter Forgács
Péter Forgács, born in 1950, is a media artist and independent filmmaker based in Budapest, whose works have been exhibited worldwide. Since 978 he has made more than thirty films. In 1983, Forgács established the Private Photo and Flm Archives Foundation (PPFA) in Budapest, which hosts a unique collection of amateur footage. He has received numerous international festival awards in Budapest, Lisbon, Marseille, San Francisco and Berlin, where he won Prix Europe for "Free Fall".
Tibor Höfler descends from a family of Jewish factory owners, whose history over several centuries can be retraced through documents that still survive to our day. A source of pride for the family is the fact that one of its members was the basis of Werther’s character, the hero in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous 18th century novel. As is usual in his “Private Hungary” film series, Péter Forgács recomposes the characters’s past by collating several audio-visual media types. However, in comparison, this particular mosaic is more intricate and the references to historical events, both those taking centre-stage or from the background, extend beyond the time limits of his life and radiate towards various other centuries and associations, the most prominent of which being, of course, Goethe’s book. With the help of letters, photographs, Tibor Höfler’s youthful home-movies, quotes from other works of art, multiple narrative voice-overs, “I Am Von Höfler: Variations on Werther” is one of the longest and most complex films in the whole series, and the experience of viewing it on the big screen surrounded by other audience members must be hypnotising. Soon, we will test it together. (Andrei Rus)
awards and festivals
Hungarian Film Festival Budapest 2008 - Creative Documentary Film Grand Prize