The clash of visions

Budapest, Liberty Square

In addition to the above seek out a piece by Nora Berend and Christopher Clark on the Hungarian government’s attempts to rewrite the country’s past.  It's in the London Review of Books.  Here is a quote:

"The European Community was founded after the darkest period of European history, in the hope that it would safeguard democracy, create prosperity and foster reconciliation. Under the ‘Copenhagen criteria’ agreed by the European Council in 1993, the conditions for accession to the EU include ‘stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities’. In the last decade or so the EU has acquired new members in regions that have only a fragile democratic tradition. Some of them, like Hungary, don’t meet the Copenhagen criteria."

Similar tendencies are at work in Poland and could start rolling in the US.  

I can't believe it's happening.  My deepest suspicion is that it a delayed global reaction to the revolution of the 60's.  A vision of empathy, acceptance, love, understanding, respect for others is challenged by fear and hate. 

Which side are you on?


Genius in cinema

In a documentary "Student Andriej Tarkovsky" which follows Tarkovsky's notes from his time in WGIK he, among other things, muses on what makes a genius.   Genius represents quality without which we can't do, says Tarkovsky.   On the other hand if a writer or an artist (his oeuvre that is) is not absolutely necessary he is not a genius. 

These ruminations sound weird when uttered by somebody who hasn't done anything yet, particularly when its pretty clear the subject is on his mind most likely because he's set to explore it personally.  In another documentary "Rerberg and Tarkowski, the other side of Stalker", Rerberg recalls Tarkowsky intimating he thinks of himself as a genius.  It is already after "Andrej Rublow" and "The Mirror", so his reported claim  could have some factual support, still such self analysis sounds weird coming from the guy whose philosophical and artistic concerns seemed boldly transcending the pettiness of human nature. 

Then in a yet another documentary: "Directedy by Tarkovsky" I found a quote from his book "Sculpting in time".  The quote is so powerful that it instantaneously validates self absorption of its author. 

Here it is:

"Time cannot vanish without a trace for it is a subjective, spiritual category."

When Tarkovsky in his book talks about time in film it is not that shots and their arrangement represent time - it is that within a shot time is mold-able, it is time within a shot that is the basic building element.   And as such is flexible, could be elongated or shortened.  Could also, be a subject of other manipulations, found in Tarkovsky's films.