Lisl Goldarbeiter’s cousin, amateur filmmaker Marci Tenczer came from Szeged. He studied in Vienna, where he saved even his money for the tram to buy a camera and film and to pursue from time to time his passion for making films. It is through him that this bittersweet twentieth-century Austro-Hungarian life and family story has come down to us. Lisl, who grew up in Vienna in modest circumstances, first won the title of Miss Austria in 1929 at the Austrian beauty contest, finishing ahead of 600 other contestants. She finished second at the Miss Europe beauty contest in Paris, where the first Hungarian beauty queen, Böske Simon won. That year the beauty queens of the world set sail to the United States to compete against the American beauties in Texas. This is where Lisl was voted the first Miss Universe by a unanimous decision of the jury! Lisl, now suddenly world famous, received various invitations and an offer from Hollywood, and her company was sought after by many celebrities. She traveled extensively and, having rejected numerous suitors, finally married Fritz Spielmann, heir to a silk necktie fortune in Vienna. Marci Tenczer faithfully recorded it all on film. These golden years in Vienna came to an end when Hitler’s Germany annexed Austria. They lost nearly everything in the war, and the adventure of suffering and life continued… —forgacspeter.hu
Péter Forgács (1950) media artist and independent filmmaker, based in Budapest. Since 1978 he has made more than thirty films and several media installations. He is best known for his “Private Hungary” series of award winning films and installations often based on home movies from the 1920s-1980s, which document ordinary lives that were soon to be ruptured by an extraordinary historical trauma that occurs off screen.
Since the early 1990s Forgács’ video installations have been presented at museums and art galleries throughout Europe and America. His international debut came with The Bartos Family (1988). Since then he has received several international festival awards – in New York, Budapest, Lisbon, Marseilles, San Francisco and Berlin, where he won the Prix Europa for Free Fall film in 1997. Between 2000-2002 Forgács was artist in residence at The Getty Museum/Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, where he created The Danube Exodus: Rippling Currents of the River installation… read more