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Dream Reconstructions, by Miklos Erdély

Dream Reconstructions, by Miklos Erdély

Dream Reconstructions

Sunday July 15, 2018, 7:00pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Dream Reconstructions, by Miklos Erdély

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

In collaboration with the Wende Museum and the Getty Research Institute

Miklós Erdély was a Hungarian architect, artist, writer, and filmmaker who in the 1960s-1980s became a key figure in Budapest's neo-avant-garde artistic circles. When the renowned Balázs Béla Studio created an opportunity for non-professional filmmakers to make films, Erdély was among the artists who seized it. Erdély's Dream Reconstructions attempts to represent the unrepresentable -- in three different sequences, we see three individuals trying to reconstruct their dreams. The film probes the relationship between personal experience and interpersonal communication, mobilizing the tools of cinema and using experimental editing techniques to mimic the workings of the subconscious. 

The screening of this film coincides with the exhibition Promote, Tolerate, Ban: Art and Culture in Cold War Hungary, co-presented by the Wende Museum and the Getty Research Institute and on view at the Wende Museum until August 26. For more information on the exhibition and other events accompanying it, visit

Tickets: $10 general; $6 for students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

For more information: or 323-377-7238

Dream Reconstuctions 2 smaller

Dream Reconstuctions (Álommásolatok)

Dream Reconstuctions (Álommásolatok)

By Miklos Erdély

Hungary, 1977, 16mm to digital, b&w, sound, 93 minutes

“Miklos Erdély, a professional architect as well as painter, writer, and performer, was nearly fifty when he made Dream Reconstructions at BBS [Balázs Béla Studio] in 1977.  But he, too, raised the issue of representation.  Erdély called his film’s staged dreams “copies of copies.”  Dream Reconstructions is composed of three such simulacra and a coda.  In one, a woman takes a group of actors out to the countryside to reenact her dream, which although she describes it as “just a scene [that] doesn’t even have a story,” involves such charged players as a priest, an old couple, and a handsome young man.  The woman expresses a naïve disappointment when her dream resists changing.  ‘Reality is different from what you dream,’ one of the actors commiserates in a line that would be Socialist Realist heresy.  ‘As a matter of fact, that’s part of the character of dreams.’

“Erdély mediated his film’s sounds and images through his experience of them at the editing table (making copies of copies of copies).  Many scenes were apparently refilmed off the Movieola screen, with freeze-frames or lapses into reverse motion keyed to phrases spoken by the film’s subjects – thus literalizing the dream work of condensation, displacement, and dramatization.  No less than The Resolution [another film made at Balázs Béla Studio], Erdély’s feature attempted to document the undocumentable – although n this case, it is the workings of  the unconscious rather than the [Communist] party.” – J. Hoberman, The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism, Temple University Press, 2000, pp. 60-61.

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