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  • Author or Editor: Imre Szíjártó x
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My presentation examines the factors which determine the national character of the film industry. Cinema has always been a global phenomenon in the sense that films are marketed internationally and are judged by the international community (awards, festivals, and cultural events). Films employ a universal language and use global generic conventions; this supranational feature is also true for the background institutions of film (production infrastructure, finance, and coproduction). My presentation overviews two national film industries: the Slovenian and the Belarus cinema. The culture of these two countries is situated within a larger political, cultural, and linguistic community, and thus affected by factors and forces associated with the centre and the periphery. The film industry in these two countries is shaped by the place of production, the nationality of the director, and language.

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This paper summarizes the methodological approaches of a larger scale project to be accomplished in the future. The aim of the paper is to elaborate a theoretical framework to analyze problems of canonization present in the films of Central and Eastern European countries. The conclusions of the paper may help us to outline film production models present in the region. Polish cinema is characterized by the presence of aesthetic principals and an interest in realism, at the same time it shows renewed attention to literary adaptations; in Slovak and Slovenian cinema (and historical research into cinema) has emphasized historical persistence; Czech film represents a strong trend of midcult works; Hungarian cinema has started to reinterpret itself; films in the post-Yugoslavian states concentrate on the representation of the social reality of the present and recent past; in Russia genre film has received a new impetus. After all, my lecture – based on examples from Central and Eastern European cinematic output – examines how the concept of national culture is created in the postcommunist era.

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The paper explores Hungarian films that make reference to South Slavic cultures. The author examines the problems of cinematic representation and employs the methodology of imagology. The core question of the paper is how Hungarian films represent Yugoslavian (or ex-Yugoslavian) characters. Márk Bodzsár’s Heavenly Shift (Isteni műszak) is set in 1992, events on the minor storyline take place in Sarajevo, while the protagonist of the main storyline is an ethnic Hungarian from Vojvodina who illegally crossed the Serbian–Hungarian border. The story of Ibolya Fekete’s Bolse vita begins in 1989: the Russian protagonists of the film would like cross over Western Europe through Yugoslavia, and the film ends with archival footage of the ex-Yugoslavian conflict. The protagonist of Ibolya Fekete’s Chico takes part in this conflict on the Croatian side and the film depicts events of the war from this point of view. Attila Till’s Kills on Wheels (Tiszta szívvel, 2016) features a character of Serbian origin who is portrayed through devices of black humour.

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Literary evolution in Hungary and Poland has had very much in common since the very beginning up to the present, but the division into epochs within each national literature has always been considerably different. Political changes played an important part in distinguishing various epochs of Hungarian literary history in the scholarship. Certain scholars combine the historical periods with literary movements or with spiritual movements. In Polish and Slovenian periodization literary movements dominate. The term Enlightenment and Positivism are also current. The latter corresponds to Realism and Naturalism in Hungarian and Slovenian criticism. The period between 1918-1939 does not have a common name in Hungary and Poland, whereas it is referred to as Expressionism and Social Realism in Slovenia. The comparative periodization of literatures in East-Central Europe can make literary scholars' views more exact in cases when opinions differ in stating time limits for different periods. Such a comparison may contribute to a more thorough understanding of the “phase delays” that may have occured between these literatures.

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