#3: [Left] - 1970

 

   


SÁNDOR SÁRA   HSC

 

Born: 28 November 1933, Tura, Hungary.

Education: Színház- és Filmmûvészeti Fõiskola/Academy of Drama and Film, Faculty of Film and Television [SFF], Budapest [graduated in 1957].

Career: His diploma work as doph, 'Pályamunkások' [1957], won an international award. Helped founding the Béla Balázs Studio [intended to give graduates and young filmmakers practical experience] in Budapest in 1959. Stayed with the studio until 1961. Was president [1992-2000] of Duna Television, the Hungarian satellite channel, which won an UNESCO award [1999] for its cultural coverage.

Ph commercials.

Retired member of the HSC.

Also active as still ph and director of shorts, doc's and features [see below].

Married to actress Erika Szegedi; his son Balázs is a doph; his daughter Júlia is a dir.

Appeared in the doc 'Történetek a magyar filmröl' [1982, László Nádasy; ph: Lóránd Mertz & Gábor Szabó; 87m], 'Eiben István fényudvara - Az utolsó tekercs' [2002, Gabriella Medgyesi; 40m] & 'Egy képíró a Varázsvölgyböl - Gaál István életútja' [2008, Timor Shah; 62m].

Awards: Leipzig FF 'Bronze Pigeon' [1963; as dir] for 'Cigányok'; National Association of Hungarian Journalists Award [1965] for 'Sodrásban'; Mannheim FF [196?; as dir] & Oberhausen FF Documentary Award [1968; as dir] for 'Vízkereszt'; Balázs Bela-díj/Béla Balázs Prize [1968]; Érdemes Müvész/Artist of Merit [1974]; Kossuth-díj/Kossuth Prize [1978]; Kiváló Müvész/Honored Artist [1987]; 'Middle Cross' of the Hungarian Republic [1994]; Arpád-pajzs/Arpád Shield [2011].


"It is not still photography that has made Sándor Sára famous. However, besides his many duties, Sára, who has spent most of his time behind movie cameras, in director’s chairs and later behind the presidential desk of Duna Television, has accumulated a remarkable life work as a still photographer. His oeuvre has not yet been reviewed by anyone as a whole. Sándor Sára has taken still photos mostly for himself in the past decades. Although still photography has always been present, it has never acquired a main role in his life. His vision as a filmmaker or cinematographer, however, has greatly been influenced by the order and method of composition and image construction he has learnt as a still photographer.

[...] The members of the entrance examination committee of the one-time College of Film and Theatre well remember Sára's photos which opened the way for him to start his studies as a future cinematographer in 1953. György Illés remembers the period as follows: 'In 1949 I was commissioned to establish the department of cinematography at the College of Film and Theatre. I managed to get through my ideas according to which there was nothing but still photography in the first semester and, in fact, part of the entrance examination was that we were shown the photos the candidates had brought along. The students who managed to get into the second round of exams were taken to a location chosen by us, where they had to make a photo etude consisting of 10-12 pictures... I remember that a young man came up to the capital city from the country with an incredibly interesting series of photos. He had made fascinatingly beautiful things. His name was Sándor Sára.' [...]

Still photography definitely preceded his career as a film maker, accompanied it in a hardly visible manner and in some form or another even survives it. […] For decades pre-production of a feature film involved the director, the director of photography and some other members of the crew going on location scouting during which they visited all the people and locations that could inspire or help the making of the film. They collected faces and characters. [...] Among Sára's surviving photos there are many motive pictures which have independent artistic value that has long been separated from the films. Farms and villages, tenement buildings in big cities, children's faces and portraits of adults but even objects, trees and natural formations, can be seen in those pictures. Some of his photos are simply working pictures which, after having completed their task, were not needed any more. The majority of them, however, are independent works of art of excellent composition and brilliant lighting, which often carry some kind of social message as well. He photographed a great number of portraits and faces for each of his films. Even though it may not have been consciously formulated and declared as a program, it was a logical station on the road along which, using more and more close-ups of faces, he arrived from socio-photography to the films he made in the second half of his life, showing credible faces for hours telling the story about how the 2nd Hungarian Army perished. he was the cinematographer and director who made the so called 'talking head' documentaries accepted in Hungary.

The other pillar of Sára's oeuvre as a still photographer is made up of his photos taken in India [1998]. He has said the following about his experiences: 'It is a fascinatingly interesting and rich world. Basically everything happens in the streets. You just have to reach for your camera and take pictures. I walked the streets from morning till night in the various neighborhoods because they are all very different... The incredible bustle of India brings forth these virtues in me. To comprise all movements, the resultant of movements into one moment! I am living in space and strangely enough I can sense the moment when, amidst the events unfolding around me, I should press the button. And it is impossible to hesitate.'" [From article by Károly Kincses.]


 

 FILMS

1957

Pályamunkások/Surfacemen/Plate-Layers [István Gaál] b&w; doc/4m; prod SFF

1959

Busójárás/The Time of the Busó Parade [Anna Raffay & János Lestár] c; doc/17m

1959

Festenek a gyerekek/Children Painting [Róbert Bán] b&w; doc/10m

1959

Szorongó varázs [Gyula Rémiás] b&w; short/480mtr

1960

Virágát a napnak/Sunflower [Sándor Sára] c; exp short/8m

1961

Ki bírja tovább?/Who Will Win? [Judit Vas] b&w; short/10m

1961

Hajnal után sötétség/Darkness After Dawn [Róbert Bán] c; doc/10m

1962

Asszony a telepen/Woman at the Helm [Imre Fehér] b&w

1962

Oda-vissza/To and Fro/There and Back [István Gaál] b&w; doc/14m

1962

Tisza-öszi vázlatok/Ösz a Tiszán/Tisza - Autumn Sketches/Autumn at River Tisza [István Gaál] c; doc/16m

1963

Férfiarckép/Portrait of a Man [Imre Gyöngyössy] b&w; doc/9m; cph: István Gaál

1963

Éva a-5116/Eva Is Clever [László Nádasy] b&w; doc/70m

1963

Egyedül [Sándor Sára] b&w; doc/21m

1963

Sodrásban/Current [István Gaál] b&w

1963

Groteszk [Zoltán Huszárik] b&w; short/11m

1964

Együtt [József Kis] c; doc/21m; cph: István Zöldi

1964

Tízezer nap/Ten Thousand Suns [Ferenc Kósa] as/b&w; released in 1967

1965

Gyerekbetegségek/Grimace/Children's Sicknesses [Ferenc Kardos & János Rózsa] c

1966

Apa [- egy hit naplója]/Father [: Diary of One Week] [István Szabó] b&w

1967

Kegyelet/Piety/Reverence [István Szabó] ?; doc/12m; 3 seg; cph: József Lörinc

1967

Vízkereszt/Twelfth Night [Sándor Sára] b&w; doc/12m

1967

Ünnepnapok/Red Letter Days [Ferenc Kardos] b&w

1967

Öngyilkosság/Suicide [Ferenc Kósa] b&w; short/24m

1968

Feldobott kö/The Upthrown Stone/The Thrown-up Stone [Sándor Sára] as/b&w

1969

Pro patria [Sándor Sára] b&w; doc/10m

1970

Ítélet/Judgement [Ferenc Kósa] b&w

1971

Szindbád/Sindbad [Zoltán Huszárik] c; cph: József Gujdár

1972

Nincs idö/Beyond Time [Ferenc Kósa] b&w-c

1973

Tüzoltó utca 25. - álmok a házról/25, Fireman's Street [István Szabó] c

1974

Hószakadás/Snowfall [Ferenc Kósa] c

1974

Holnap lesz fácán/Tomorrow Pheasant [Sándor Sára] c; cph: Péter Jankura

1975

Árvácska/Nobody’s Daughter [László Ranódy & Gyula Mészáros] c

1976

Erdei Ferenc [Gábor Hanák] b&w; doc/?m; prod 1976-80

1976

Budapesti mesék/Budapest Tales [István Szabó] c

1977

Szeretném, ha szeretnének [Ferenc Kósa] ?; doc/?m

1978

80 huszár/80 Hussars [Sándor Sára] c

1980

A mérközés/The Match [Ferenc Kósa] c

1980

Cirkusz Maximus/Circus Maximus [Géza (von) Radványi & Tamás Almási] c

1984

Kiralygyilkossag - Egy merenylet anatomiaja/Regicide - Anatomy of an Assassination [Péter Bokor] b&w-c

1991

Könyörtelen idök [Sándor Sára] b&w; uncred ph; cph: Balázs Sára

1993

Vigyázók/The Watchers [Sándor Sára] c; cph: Balázs Sára

1996

In memoriam Gyöngyössy Imre [Barna Kabay & Katalin Petényi] b&w-c; dram doc/84m; cph: Péter Jankura, János Kende, Michael Teutsch, László Szalay, a.o.

1999

Sára Sándor - Tájak, borok, városok [Sándor Sára] c; educational doc/19m

 

 TELEVISION

1972

Teszt [Sándor Sára] doc/?m

1972

Csudavilág [János Rózsa] tvm/b&w/?m

1972

Tûz vagyok [Ferenc Kósa] doc/b&w/?m

1975

Suomi [István Szintai] ?

1980

Égi kökényfák alatt [Sándor Sára] tvm

1984

Bábolna/Bábolna múltja és Fuga [Sándor Sára] 6-part doc/b&w-c; cph: Sándor Kurucz

1985

Orfeusz és Eurydiké/Orfeo e Euridice [István Gaál] tvm; cph: Sándor Kurucz & József Lörincz

1996

Szervátiusz Múzeum Kolozsvárott [Sándor Sára] doc/11m

1997

Indiai képsorok [Sándor Sára] 5-part doc: 'Város a lét peremén: Kalkutta', 'Sír a világ tetején', 'A béke hajléka', 'Szabadon, mint a madár' & 'A milliónyi isten országa'

1997

Bangkok, a kelet Velencéje [Sándor Sára] doc/54m

1999

Amrita Sher-Gil [Sándor Sára] doc/b&w-c/53m/v; cph: Rezsö Wonke

2010

Ünnep az ezeréves határon - Gyimesbükk [Tamás Horváth] doc/210m

 

 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT

1960

Három csillag/Three Stars [Miklós Jancsó, a.o.] ph: István Hildebrand

 

 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1960

Virágát a napnak/Sunflower [+ ph] see Films

 

 

1961

Cigányok/Gypsies [+ scrpl; doc/17m/b&w] ph: István Gaál

1963

Egyedül [+ ph] see Films

1967

Vízkereszt/Twelfth Night [+ scrpl/co-prod/ph] see Films

1968

Feldobott kö/The Upthrown Stone/The Thrown-up Stone [+ co-scrpl/ph] see Films

1969

Pro patria [+ scrpl/ph] see Films

1972

Teszt [+ ph] see Television

1974

Holnap lesz fácán/Tomorrow Pheasant [+ scrpl/cph] see Films

1977

Portré Csoóri Sándorról [tv-doc/b&w/?m] ph: ?

1978

80 huszár/80 Hussars [+ co-scrpl/ph] see Films

1980

Égi kökényfák alatt [+ ph] see Television

1981

Néptanítók/The Teachers [doc/113m; + scrpl] ph: Sándor Kurucz

1982

Elátkozva a hatodik napot [tv-doc] ph: Sándor Kurucz

1982

Pergötüz - A 2 magyar hadsereg a Donnál/Crossfire/Drum Fire [5-part doc/b&w/16mm] ph: Sándor Kurucz; a 25-part tv-version was titled 'Krónika/Chronicle'

1982

Fúga/Fugue [tv-doc/81m/16mm] ph: ?

1984

Bábolna/Bábolna múltja és Fuga [+ scrpl/cph] see Television

1985

Dózsa György [tv-doc] ph: Ferenc Káplár

1986

Sír az út elöttem.../The Road Is Crying in Front of Me [4-part tv-doc/16mm: 1. 'Hazátlanok/Without Country' (108m), 2. 'Hadak útján' (96m), 3. 'Keresztúton/At the Crossroads' (79m) & 4. 'Hazatértek/Homecomers' (?m); + scrpl] ph: Sándor Kurucz

1987

Jeles napok [3-part doc] ph: ?

1987

Tüske a köröm alatt/A Thorn Under the Fingernail [feature; + co-scrpl] ph: Sándor Kurucz

1988

Csonka Berg [2-part doc/b&w] ph: ?

1990

Te még élsz?/Are You Still Alive? [doc/87m/c] ph: Sándor Kurucz & Ferenc Pap

1990

Magyar nök a gulágon [3-part tv-doc/299m/16mm] ph: Sándor Kurucz; prod 1990-92

1991

Könyörtelen idök [+ uncred cph] see Films

1991

Lefegyverzett ellenséges erôk [2-part doc] ph: Sándor Kurucz & Ferenc Pap

1993

Vigyázók/The Watchers [+ scrpl/cph] see Films

1994

Aki magyar, velünk tart [2-part doc] ph: Balázs Sára

1995

A vád/Prosecution [feature; + co-scrpl] ph: Balázs Sára

1996

Szervátiusz Múzeum Kolozsvárott [+ ph] see Television

1997

Indiai képsorok [+ ph] see Television

1997

Bangkok, a kelet Velencéje [+ ph] see Television

1999

Amrita Sher-Gil [+ cph] see Television

1999

Sára Sándor - Tájak, borok, városok [+ ph] see Films

2003

Európából Európába/From Europe Into Europe [seg #5 'A harang értünk szól/The Bell Tolls for Us'] c; doc/36m; 10 seg; ph: Balázs Sára; about the entry of Hungary into the European Union

2004

Nehézsorsúak [tv-doc/b&w/46m] ph: Sándor Kurucz

2006

Memento [tv-doc/55m] ph: Balázs Sára