Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media



Continuing the Deviating Tradition of Hungarian Experimental Film Art: András Jeles’s Joseph and His BrothersScenes from a Peasant Bible

Gábor Gelencsér


Abstract: This article places Joseph and His Brothers—Scenes from a Peasant Bible (József és testvérei—Jelenetek egy parasztbibliából, 2003) by Hungarian experimental filmmaker András Jeles within the social, institutional and cultural context of Hungarian film production. It surveys the sociopolitical conditions that gave rise to the formal and political radicalism of Hungarian experimental cinema; it provides an insight into the workshop of the Béla Balázs Studio, which played a determining role in shaping the various alternative discourses of Hungarian filmmaking, and suggests that András Jeles’s work is a particular manifestation of form-breaking radicalism. Two different narrative and stylistic modes of expression in the film are examined: shadow play and infrared camera use, as is the deployment of these two kinds of visuality in the parallel structure of the film. Cultural memory and the technical conditions of the filmic medium are considered from the perspective of aesthetic experience.


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