Edited by Izabella Füzi – Ervin Török

Csaba Berényi: The banality of resistance. Reality and fiction in Son of Saul

My study analyzes modes of fiction in László Nemes Jeles’s Son of Saul. Unlike in its everyday sense, fiction is defined following Wolfgang Iser’s theory as an act, a mode of language use. According to my hypothesis, beyond a documentarist, objective authenticity and an attempt for a realistic representation, Son of Saul achieves to make the truth of the holocaust explorable as a mode of vision. Through the representational questions of the holocaust, the film of Nemes Jeles points to the fact that the factuality and readability of reality or a given phenomenon is dependent upon a fictional constructedness. The representational techniques of the film are compared to Gilles Deleuze’s movement-image and time-image. Through the analysis of the audiovisual structure of the film I highlight the similarities between compositional modes and the Iserian interpretation of fiction, in other words, the way in which the fiction of moving images becomes revelatory of reality.

Dávid Venyercsán: Effects of immersion and popular genres in Son of Saul

In my paper I analyze László Jeles Nemes’s Son of Saul. My main statement is that the movie immerses the viewer, creating a unique mixture of holocaust-representation and counter-representation. The main notions I draw upon come from the discourse of popular culture (e.g. video games, action and horror movies), but I rely on well-known concepts from holocaust studies, such as Hirsch’s post-memory and van Alphen’s holocaust effect. Besides the film’s effects of immersion, I examine Son of Saul’s unique accomplishments in cinematic language as well as its focalization.

Linda Huszár: Possesed. Flashback, focalization, film noir

The paper examines the flashback-structure of Curtis Bernhardt’s Possessed (1947), a film noir from the classical period. The close analysis based on Branigan’s narrative levels follows the shifts between flashback and focalization: the flashback narration itself implicates a cognitive split, drawing attention to the “impression of reality” that operates within filmic fiction, and Possessed is ready to complicate this formula with its dubious narrative settings. As a characteristically noirish result, the clear boundaries of narrative levels, imaginary and real, objectivity and subjectivity are melted within a classical Hollywood narrative system.

Ervin Gáspár László: Personal drama and war – Aspects Language Philosophy in Arrival

The main topic of Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) is a personal drama and an evolving war conflict, but its central issue is language. For the interpretation of the former I will try  to explore the linguistic aspects. As a first step I offer an outline of generativist and cognitivist approaches. Rule is a central element to both, but while the former approach is pessimistic, the latter is optimistic. The danger of the rule-based (context-free) dialogue is highlighted by John Searle’s experiment, as well as Wittgenstein’s language-game theory about the context-dependent application of rules. Context entails the matter of linguistic relativism. The author of the narrative applies the strong variant of the Whorf-hypothesis. Also, he is inspired by quantum physics too, and these contribute to the combined concept of causality, linearity and temporality, which shape the narrative. This problem is explained with the help of observations regarding linguistic relativism, as well as Heisenberg’s relevant insights. In the third part of my study I discuss the concept of language and war. According to the conclusion of this section, neither a context-free nor a context-dependent, relativistic approach is exclusively relevant. Such an understanding may be related to Wittgenstein’s language-game theory.

Zsófia Márki: Borders of body and text – Song of the Sea as a myth adaptation

This paper focuses on the adaptational characteristics of the selkie-myth in the animation film Song of the Sea (2014). With the help of classical myth criticism, post-structuralism and contemporary cultural theories, it attempts to discover the connotations and deep-structures hidden in the unique process of this particular adaptation, in contrast with earlier versions. The selkie (seal) woman is embedded in a special mythical cycle where she symbolizes the attempt to enslave women in a patriarchal society. Interestingly, in this adaptation the creature is not a dark, frightening entity, but a lovely fairy-like being, regardless of the fact that she does not lose any of the destructive power that she has in the original selkie-wife tale. Moreover, the motif of the seal skin is enriched with a new function that has not been found in other adaptations.

Zsóka Hernyák: Contradictions of power in denomination and role-taking opportunities in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus

The paper analyses the play Equus by Peter Shaffer, and the production by the Hungarian Company of the Subotica National Theatre staged under the same title. The study puts an emphasis, on the one hand, on the contradictions characterizing issues of power regarding normality and otherness, while on the other on the oppressive strength of determination and categorization, taken in a linguistic sense. The paper examines the roles of Doctor Dysard and Alan Strang as two contradictory and wrestling forms of identity, which, due to their contradictions, make the utterances generated by these roles doubtful.

Student’s Workshop

Katalin Török: A contemporary Marilyn: images of Marilyn Monroe as star and woman in her own time and in Smash

The paper analyzes contemporary representation of Marilyn Monroe as a star and a woman, relying on Richard Dyer’s theory as well as a feminist reading of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. As a next step, characteristics of Monroe’s contemporary stardom, such as innocence, eroticism, naiveté and the tragedy of her image are focused upon, combined with a feminist reading of her film, and the examination of performance, manipulation and wearing masks in Theresa Rebeck’s Smash, a series dealing with the representation of her legacy.

Szilvia Kéri-Keller: Viewer or user? Changes of attitude analyzed through video share sites

With the appearance of Web 2.0 the internet has turned from a medium used primarily for publishing to a medium fuelled by participation, which changed the activities of users in the online space. This change may be traced on recent contents of new media, on video blogs and web series. In order to gain attention, these series exploit the possibilities of switching between positions of viewers and users. The switch between viewer and user positions generates an intermediary state, which is characteristic of the users of new media, a state which is assigned by contents of video share websites, since these forms have been already adjusted to the changed behavior of consumers. Also, the act of remediation may be detected most clearly on certain platforms of video sharing sites, since it is here that the traditional viewer position has been renewed in a way that it is adaptable by the widest of audiences.