American Torso plus Two Short Films
“The first feature of young Hungarian director Gabor Body, American Torso won the Grand Prix at the Mannheim Film Festival and received recognition in Berlin, Paris, and Locarno. Based on an Ambrose Bierce tale set during the last days of the American Civil War, it portrays two Hungarian emigrants in the Union Army. They represent opposite attitudes: on the one hand, that of the rationalist, the ‘technocrat,' concerned only with the new inventions of science, wanting to serve the cause with his skill and knowledge; on the other hand, the romantic revolutionary for whom the end of the war brings the end of his ‘raison d'etre.' Attached inseparably to the gun, feeling himself rootless, he challenges his fate in a spectacular, wild suicidal gesture.
“A bitter philosophical story related in an unusual experimental form, where the images try to recreate the early years of photography, the daguerreotypes of the last century, but as if they were taken virtually on the spot, candidly. Uncertain frames, damaged, dimly lighted pictures evoke the ambiance of the past. A pseudo-documentary with the ambition of strengthening immediacy and closeness to reality, but having also a kind of alienation to assure the distance for reflection.”