András Szirtes (Hungary)

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.

Filmography

  • Cipők / Shoes
    1967
  • Tiltakozók / Dissident's
    1968
  • Bisztro / Suburb
    1972
  • Vázlat / Sketch – together with Agnes Hay
    1973
  • Szelet / Slice
    1973
  • Madarak / Birds
    1973-76
  • Hajnal / Dawn
    1973-80
  • Woyzeck
    1979
  • Napló No.1-8 / Diaries No.1-8.
    1979-83
  • Gravitáció / Gravitation
    1981
  • Tükör-tükröződés / Mirror-reflection – together with Lujza Gecser
    1982
  • A Pronuma Bolyok története / The History of Pronuma Boys
    1983
  • Lenz
    1984-85
  • UFO
    1987
  • RAP levelek / Rapletters
    1987
  • Forradalom után / After the Revolution
    1987-89
  • Új kormány a hegyen / New Goverment on the Hill
    1989
  • Üzenetek a Holdról / Messages from the Moon
    1990
  • Sade márki és élete / Marquis de Sade and his life
    1990-93
  • A kisbaba reggelije / The Baby's Breakfast
    1993-95
  • Bevezetés a filmkészítés rejtelmeibe, I-VIII / Introducing the Film I-VIII
    1993-96
  • A kisbaba, a kutya meg én / The Baby, the Dog and Me
    1996
  • Fejezetek a Balázs Béla Stúdió történetéből / Chapter from the History of Studio Bela Balazs
    1997-98
  • A lélek súlya / The Weight of the Soul
    1998
  • Napló, no. 9-15 / Diaries No.9-15
    1979-2000
  • Triptichon
    2000
  • Budapestről jut eszembe / A propos the Budapest
    2000-01
  • Az utolsó mohikán / The Last Mohican
    2001-02
  • Napló No.16. Lujzika / Diaries No.16, Lujzika
    2000-03
  • Napló No.17. Mikrokozmosz I-VII / Diaries No.17 Microcosmos I-VII
    2000-03
  • Tiszta szívvel / Open Hearted
    2003-04
  • Dear Daughter
    1995-2004
  • K. Z. emlékei / Memory of K. Z.
    2006-07
  • Juliette
    2007-09
  • La rencontre / Meeting
    2010

Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.