Emeric Pressburger – The Life and Death of a Screenwriter (Book Launch)

09-03-2023 17:00 Béke screen

Imre Pressburger, or Emeric Pressburger as he is known to the world today, is one of the most influential figures in universal cinema. Born in Miskolc, Hungary, the Academy Award-winning Hungarian filmmaker’s oeuvre is outstanding as a writer, director and producer. He has been a point of reference for such great filmmakers as Brian De Palma, Francis Ford Coppola, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. Unfortunately, however, his name and work are still not widely known in Hungary, even though he has faithfully and unfailingly held on to his Hungarian identity throughout his life. Today, the memory of Pressburger is preserved only by a memorial plaque placed on his birth house in Miskolc, but the CineFest Association has been looking for years for a way to safeguard this property of cultural and historical importance for the future and to protect Pressburger’s legacy. In June 2023, the Association was granted a 15-year lease on the city-owned property which we plan to renovate and operate as a visual arts incubation centre. Director Martin Scorsese summed up the role and place of Pressburger’s life’s work in a single sentence: “He was one of the most talented, influential and defining filmmakers of the last century.” The first Hungarian-language biographies of Adolf Zukor and William Fox, two of Hollywood’s Hungarian founding fathers, were published in the FilmHungary series of books entitled Hungarians in Hollywood. In recent years, the biography of Miklós Rózsa, a three-time Oscar-winning film composer and one of the most successful Hungarians of all time in Hollywood, Kettős élet (A Double Life), and the biography of Gábor Csupó, a fivetime EMMY Award-winning animator, also known for the Simpsons and the Rugrats animated series, have also been published in the series. Imre Pressburger’s autobiography is added to this illustrious list. Voted Best Film Book of the Year by the British Film Institute in 1994, this volume is the first Hungarianlanguage monograph on the famous Hungarian-British filmmaker. It is published almost 30 years after the original publication and more than 120 years after Pressburger’s birth. The book is written by Imre Pressburger’s grandson Kevin Macdonald, who followed in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a successful Oscar-winning filmmaker. Imre Pressburger had a long and adventurous career, achieving all that was possible in the film world. He became a legend in his lifetime, but his heart and his memories were tied to pre-WWI Hungary – as the filmmaker metaphorically puts it, to the time when “the world was still whole”. The book launch will be attended by Dr. Tamás Kollarik and Dr. Sándor Takó, editors of the Hungarians in Hollywood book series. The discussion will be moderated by Péter Muszatics, curator of CineClassics and author of Vienna, Budapest, Hollywood.