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Arizona Diary

with poet György Petri

Poet, in the landscape, with bystanders

„Every note is casual. Because what decides importance? This is the disadvantage of the diary” says Péter Forgács in the Arizona Diary, addressing the problem of the genre, which he faced during the creation of his diary. It is hardly by chance, that in our age to the front came – using Susan Sontag’s expression (used for happenings) – „the art of radical …?”: ever more often the art pieces are replaced by diaries, the diaries themselves become the art pieces. While in literature the diary is a common and in some respect a conservative art form, in the world of the moving image, by the nature of the thing, it is an avantgarde gesture: it is a negation of the „objective” film stories, that descended from the XIX. century novel (and at the same time from its decomposition) to the screen. In the moving image the subjective diary notes not with a pen, but with lens are written; consciously or unconsciously every film diary is a desperate experiment to put the film off track, and drive it towards the new options of visual expression. The challenge is not impossible, but reserves serious consequences both for the way of expression and for the pictures. This is the reason for why every film diary is fragmented and leaves a hiatus in the viewer? This hiatus, we should not say, is a source of more fertile energies, than the satisfaction, which fills us after complete film stories. The film diary does not have a beginning, an end, or a center. More precisely this center is not in the film, but out side of it: in the person of the storyteller. The genre problem, that surfaces in connection with the film diary is identical with the basic question of the modern film: who tells – is there anyone who tells – the story? The story of Arizona Diary seemingly is told by Péter Forgács: we see his pictures and hear his voice sometimes. In the diary the storyteller and the main character of the story is the same person. This role triples and splits in the Arizona Diary. The film is the document of György Petri’s, György Galántai’s, and Péter Forgács’ collective work journey. On the one hand, Forgács is telling the story of the three, on the other Galántai is gradually falling out, and Petri drifts to the center, and so Forgács’ diary is mostly on György Petri. The voice – the poem – is Petri’s, the hand – the camera – is Forgács’... "

György Báron


1992 - 53 minutes - 1992
Director and camera Péter Forgács
Music Tibor Szemzõ
Márta Révész
Sound mix Kati Gulyás
Line producer András Tóth
Producer Jolán Árvai FMS-HTV
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