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Andras Szirtes

András Szirtes

Hungary / Website


András Szirtes was born in 1951 in Budapest, Hungary. He made his very first films under the strong influence of the film avant-garde, especially another Hungarian filmmaker János Tóth. Szirtes’ work is closely bonded with the Béla Balázs Studio. Even his early works are strongly personal; his films show unmistakeable traces of a personal diary, and the author’s physical self is a part of nearly every picture. Szirtes’ top project undoubtedly is Diaries/ Napló (1979–2004). He finished cutting the first eight parts of this intimate film testimony in 1983. He continued recording his everyday life after he had left for the USA, and finished the second series of eight in 2003. His poetic film opus Dawn/ Hajnal (1973–1980) was also being born during several years, using nine hours of raw material and six thousand photographical motives. The screenplay for another major picture Gravitation/ Gravitácio (1981) was already finished in 1981. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to raise enough funds for the project, so he made a montage film, composed mainly of archive shots, whose aim was, literally, 'to kick in the ass’. A cynical, anarchic picture, with themes reflecting both physical and social attraction, is a collage of dead bodies and meat grinders, gunshots, mirrored games and scratches on the film reel. In 1983, Szirtes made his first feature-length film, a musical and lyrical essay The History of Pronuma Boys/ A Pronuma boyok torténete (1983) that opens with swearing at the audience who 'intend to watch that stupid movie’. After the Revolution/ Forradalom után (1989) was made as a virtue of necessity: the picture was shot, due to the lack of money, using low-quality video material, and when finished, Szirtes said that it was his cat that made it. Last Szirtes' project made in Béla Balázs Studio is The Baby’s Breakfast/ A kisbaba reggelije (1995). The director shot this film using the original hand crank Debrie camera and Gaumont projector, and presented it in Grand Café in Paris exactly one hundred years after the Lumière brothers’ first film show.
"I have never shot real documentaries. My films are deeper, more personal. Whenever I got invited to a film festival, they always hesitated when it came to characterising my work. It is sometimes an experiment, sometimes a very personal testimony, once full of fiction, next time rather documentary. That’s why I always asked to label my work simply “szirtesfilmS," says András Szirtes.


Cipők/ Shoes (3´, Hungary, 1967)
Tiltakozók/ Dissident´s (14´, Hungary, 1968)
Bisztro/ Suburb (8´, Hungary, 1972)
Vázlat/ Sketch – together with Agnes Hay (2´, Hungary, 1973)
Szelet/ Slice (13´, Hungary, 1973)
Madarak/ Birds (8´, Hungary, 1973-76)
Hajnal/ Dawn (21´, Hungary, 1973-80)
Woyzeck (90´, Hungary, 1979)
Napló No.1-8/ Diaries No.1-8. (170´, Hungary, 1979-83)
Gravitáció/ Gravitation (21´, Hungary, 1981)
Tükör-tükröződés/ Mirror-reflection – together with Lujza Gecser (21´, Hungary, 1982)
A Pronuma Bolyok története/ The History of Pronuma Boys (90´, Hungary, 1983)
Lenz (100´, Hungary, 1984-85)
UFO (51´, Hungary, 1987)
RAP levelek/ Rapletters (38´, Hungary, 1987)
Forradalom után/ After the Revolution (90´, Hungary, 1987-89)
Új kormány a hegyen/ New Goverment on the Hill (8´, Hungary, 1989)
Üzenetek a Holdról/ Messages from the Moon (17´, Hungary, 1990)
Sade márki és élete/ Marquis de Sade and his life (120´, Hungary, 1990-93)
A kisbaba reggelije/ The Baby´s Breakfast (42´, Hungary, 1993-95)
Bevezetés a filmkészítés rejtelmeibe, I-VIII/ Introducing the Film I-VIII (360´, Hungary, 1993-96)
A kisbaba, a kutya meg én/ The Baby, the Dog and Me (46´, Hungary, 1996)
Fejezetek a Balázs Béla Stúdió történetéből/ Chapter from the History of Studio Bela Balazs (180´, Hungary, 1997-98)
A lélek súlya/ The Weight of the Soul (28´, Hungary, 1998)
Napló, no. 9-15/ Diaries No.9-15 (250´, Hungary, 1979-2000)
Triptichon (72´, Hungary, 2000)
Budapestről jut eszembe/ A propos the Budapest (30´, Hungary, 2000-01)
Az utolsó mohikán/ The Last Mohican (26´, Hungary, 2001-02)
Napló No.16. Lujzika/ Diaries No.16, Lujzika (86´, Hungary, 2000-03)
Napló No.17. Mikrokozmosz I-VII/ Diaries No.17 Microcosmos I-VII (300´, Hungary, 2000-03)
Tiszta szívvel/ Open Hearted (21´, Hungary, 2003-04)
Dear Daughter (83´, Hungary, 1995-2004)
K. Z. emlékei/ Memory of K. Z. (28´, Hungary, 2006-07)
Juliette (71´, Hungary, 2007-09)



Madarak (Orig.) / 1981 / Hungary / 8 min

A film study in which the symbol of flight which contradicts human limitations inspires an emotional rhythm of scenes varying along three lines.




Hajnal (Orig.) / 1973 / Hungary / 21 min

Szirtes's masterful experimental work is a dazzling composition of several years of filming within an industrial macro/microcosm, an abstract model of revolution and the beauty of daybreak.



Diaries 1 - 8

Napló No. 1 - 8 (Orig.) / 1984 / Hungary / 170 min

Film journals are constantly being made and edited and end in death - Szirtes's intimate social journals are an epic, multi-layered system, a remarkable reflection of an individual and of contemporary mores.




Gravitáció (Orig.) / 1981 / Hungary / 21 min

Scratched film stock that reminds us that film remains in a state of birth, a shocking poem of physical suffering and the danger of organized violence that can be denied by a cynical but free gesture.



Memory of K. Z. (Phototherapy No. 1)

K. Z. emlékei (Phototherapy No. 1) (Orig.) / 2006 / Hungary / 28 min

Photographic and filmic portraits of women with engaged and disengaged expressions, forced smiles, nodding, evasive; the film's description gives a source for the photographs, but their authenticity is uncertain.




Bisztro (Orig.) / 1972 / Hungary / 8 min

A romantically charged cinematic poem capturing the mood in Budapest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in a work inspired by avant-garde films of the 1920s and directors such as Walter Ruttman and Dziga Vertov.





David Čálek‘s successful documentary Climbing Higher about Czech climber Radek Jaroš, which won at the BANFF festival, is available for FREE streaming in the online documentary cinema DAFilms.com from December 8 to 11.

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- 8.12.2016 -

Winter Portion of Czech Documentary Films

Winter Portion of Czech Documentary Films

For 3.99 euro, you can get a selection of documentaries that entered Czech cinematic distribution in 2016 as well as access to another 1500 films from around the world. Dear friends, please, do not forget that you can give an ideal present not only to your intellectual friends but also to yourselves.

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- 7.12.2016 -

Unique films at FAMUFEST

Unique films at FAMUFEST

The 33rd edition of FAMUFEST, a competition display of films made by students of Prague’s FAMU, will be held on November 23 to 27 at Prague’s Letná District. Like in the past year, it will take place at Bio Oko, plus at the new venues of Studio Hrdinů and Café Jedna.

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- 22.11.2016 -

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