CONTAGIOUS MIDDLE AGES in Post-Communist East-Central Europe | September 15 - October 20

filmscreening series at the OSA ARHIVUM

September 28, Thursday, 6 pm
Andrei Rublev / The Passion According to Andrei (Andrei Tarkovskii, Soviet Union, 205 min, 1966)
Based on the life of a 15th century icon painter, Andrei Rublev consists of seven episodes following Rublev through the political and social upheavals of medieval Russia. The film was commissioned by the government in order to celebrate Rublev's anniversary. Andrei Konchalovsky wrote the scenario, which was originally titled “The Passion according to Andrei” and Tarkovskii took advantage of the fact that it did not record much about the painter's life to make a biographical film suffused with his own philosophical and theological vision of an artist. Rublev in the film is not portrayed as a saint at the peak of his art, but as an incredibly human monk, who follows a path of suffering through the darkest realms of life to reach the truth of art. When the original version (205 min) was shown in 1966, the audience applauded, but the government committee demanded a number of cuts which the director refused and thus the film was banned until 1971. The director had to wait for seven years to make his next film. The screening shows the original version of the film.
In Russian with English subtitles.

October 4, Wednesday, 6 pm
The Valley of the Bees / Údolí vcel (director Frantisek Vlácil, Czechoslovakia, 1967, 97 min)
In this mesmerizing historical drama, Frantisek Vlácil, the godfather of the 1960’s Czech New Wave, epitomizes his commitment to what he called "pure film." At the age of twelve Ondrej, son of the lord of Vlkov, is sent to study with the Brotherhood of Teutonic Knights. He befriends a fellow member of the Order, Armin, who leads him on his path to God. After coming across a fellow Brother, Rotgier, who is on the run, Ondrej begins to question his beliefs and flees the Order to return to his childhood home. where he finds his father dead, his land barren and his people in despair. Ondrej finds solace and strength in his father's widow but as he brings joy and prosperity back to his estate and finds a new meaning to his life Armin finds and confronts him. The Valley of the Bees is a heart-wrenching story of a man torn between his desire for happiness and his belief in God.
In Czech with English subtitles.

October 11, Wednesday, 6 pm
The Legend of the Suram Fortress / Ambavi Suramis tsikhitsa / ??????? ? ????????? ???????? (Sergei Paradzhanov, Soviet Union, 1984, 82 min)
Almost 15 years after shooting his greatest masterpiece Color of Pomegranates, having faced trumped up charges and spent years in prisons and labor camps, Paradzhanov finally returned with The Legend of the Surami Fortress. His first two films were shot in Ukraine and Armenia, this one was produced by Gruzia Film. The action takes place in medieval Georgia and is loosely based on a Georgian legend. The last wall around the Suram fortress collapses again and again no matter what the builders try. A spurned woman abandoned by the man she loves makes a prophecy according to which the only way to complete the wall around the fortress is to immure a man in the masonry. She advises the prince who abandoned her to sacrifice his son to protect Suram Fortress during a siege. Using an elliptic narrative arranged into poetic chapters, Paradzhanov creates on the screen a visually and culturally eclectic universe of the medieval Caucasus, freely combining incompatible elements and creating a poetic visual language indifferent to historical precision.
In Georgian and Russian with English subtitles.

October 19, Thursday, 6 pm
681 AD: The Glory of Khan / 681- ????????? ?? ???? (Liudmil Staikov, Bulgaria, 1981, 90 min)
In 651 AD Khan Kubrat died and the Khazars increased their raids upon Great Bulgaria. His five sons split the Bulgarian tribe and each led his part to find new lands where they could live in peace. Khan Asparukh, the youngest son, went west and, after an arduous journey lasting for years, southward across the River Danube, into Moesia. In 680-81, in alliance with the Slavs, he inflicted stunning defeats on the Roman legions and forced the Byzantine Empire to recognize the formation of the new state of Bulgaria in the lands where it still exists today. Khan Asparukh was made to celebrate the 1,300th anniversary of the founding of Bulgaria. This edited version reduces the three-part epic from almost 6 hours to 95 minutes. Sumptuously filmed, with over 50,000 extras, the film narrates the history of these momentous events, from the fall of Great Bulgaria in the Asian steppes, through Asparukh's perilous westward trek, and the decisive battles with the Byzantine forces.
In English with Bulgarian subtitles.

OSA Archivum - Galeria Centralis
Budapest V., Arany János utca 32.
No entrance fee