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A Guest of Life - Alexander Csoma De Körös

 
A Guest of Life - Alexander Csoma De Körös

(Az élet vendége - Csoma-legendárium) Director: Tibor Szemző, MAĎ, 2006, English version, 80 min

Alexander Csoma de Körös (1784-1842) was convinced that the roots of the Hungarian language must be sought somewhere in the East. An intellectual who mastered thirteen languages, he spent almost twenty years in Tibet. He never found evidence of the origin of Hungarian, but he became an important mediator of Buddhist culture. He wrote the first textbook of Tibetan grammar and a Tibetan-English dictionary. _ One level of the film uses simple pastel-coloured animations to relate popular tales about Csoma, in which he is described as an unassailable hero. _ The second level attempts to communicate the teachings of sacred Tibetan texts. Accompanied by themes of poetry and religion, the director records his contemporary pilgrimage in Csoma's footsteps on 8mm film. _ The film is not a biography, but the filmmaker's meditation. Csoma's experience is evoked by echoes of various languages, as his knowledge of those languages was a crucial factor in his way of thinking and his approach to life. Hazy, static images evoke the atmosphere of Tibet and India, and colours are barely discernible, as though the director's perspective and Csoma's eyes are meant to merge in some dreamy realm. _ The director and musician Tibor Szemző was a leading figure in Hungarian experimental music in the 1980s. His distinctive interpretations of minimalistic compositions often formed part of larger installations combined with other art forms, and he contributed to the films of Péter Forgács as a composer.


 

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