An experimentalist, film-poet, iconoclast, it is difficult to categorize Gabor Body. His work in the Hungarian cinema has attracted the attention of international critics and he won prizes and acclaim at several festivals for his first feature film, American Torso (1976) based on a story by Ambrose Bierce. Gabor Body was born in Budapest and graduated from the University there with a degree in history and philosophy. He is now in charge of the Experimental Section “Kx” of Mafilm Studios, Budapest and is working on the draft of an International Encyclopedia of Experimental Films. Body’s second feature, Narcissus and Psyche was shown at Cannes 1981 as part of the Directors Fortnight of new cinema. It is based on the writings of Sandor Weores, one of Hungary’s most distinguished leading poets. The “Psyche” of the title is the ageless, beautiful poetess Erzebet Longyay, a fictitious creation of Weores. Body has made her a timeless siren and follows her loves and adventures through the early 19th century to the middle of the 1930s, and during this period of 120 years the characters do not age. The “Narcissus” is the heroine’s poet-lover, Laszlo. The film is definitely a visual journey in which the spectator finds images of surprising originality and beauty. Body’s frame of reference, in addition to Weore’s poems, is also Nietzsche’s relationship with his lover, Lou Andreas Salome, and different romantic episodes in one’s daily life. He says that he has tried to make Narcissus and Psyche a myth, a myth of antagonism born of European culture, according to which men and women can only find their physical and intellectual liberty at the expense of others. “And in spite of 35 years of socialism, my generation is still living in this antagonism." —Albert Johnson, San Francisco Film Society
Gábor Bódy (30 August 1946 – 25 October 1985) was a Hungarian film director, screenwriter, theoretic, and occasional actor. A pioneer of experimental filmmaking and film language, Bódy is one of the most important figures of Hungarian cinema.
Bódy was born in Budapest, in an urban middle-class family. He studied history and philosophy at Loránd Eötvös University and later filmmaking at the Academy for Theater and Film Arts. During his university days he became an influential member of the Béla Balázs Stúdió (BBS). He made his first film A Harmadik (The Third) (a documentary about students preparing an adaptation of Faust on stage) in 1971. He established various experimental and avantgarde projects at BBS including the Film Language Series in 1973 and the K/3 experimental film group in 1976, reshaping the postwar Hungarian avantgarde film’s path.
In 1975 he completed his debut feature at BBS, which was also his graduation thesis film at the university. Amerikai Anzix… read more