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The
Glossary

The contents of the CINARTS paths by choice do not use difficult or specialist terms, but directly their definitions or concept – not exhaustive, but sufficient to figure out the meaning. In this sense, this is a reverse glossary: an anti-glossary.

On this page you will find the alphabetical list of the concepts and terms drawn from the paths.

3T

3T is a contemporary term used for characterising Hungarian culture policy during the decades in power of first secretary János Kádár (1956-89), and stands for the initials of ‘banned, tolerated, supported’ (in Hungarian: ‘támogatott, tűrt, tiltott’). Works of art, performances, artists or public events were put in one of the three categories determining their fate. The system, however, was not strictly consistent: certain decision makers had a lot of leeway, and time and again surprisingly critical voices could be heard (e.g. the legendary sketches of stand-up comedian of Géza Hofi throughout the 1980s), while at the same time a totally politics-free book or film from the West could get banned.

Arrow Cross

The Arrow Cross movement came into power in Hungary in October 16, 1944 by means of a coup. In the 170 days of the Arrow Cross reign, tens of thousands of country gipsies and Jews were killed, forced into labour and extermination camps.

Art Nouveau
Close-Up

A close-up is a shot in which a person’s face fills most of the screen, although the term can also refer to any shot that appears to have been taken at close range (or through a telephoto lens), and in which an object appears relatively large and in detail.

Deus ex machina

Deus ex machina (Latin for ‘god from the machine’) is an expression originally applied for the feature of Classical Greek drama that often abrupt divine intervention was the only way to save the heroes from their demise. Later it has been used for any sort of unexpected or unmotivated happy turn in a narrative.

Eros
Flashback

The flashback is a narrative technique in film and literature that recounts events before the actual main thread of the story. It is used to depict the characters’ personalities, carefully analyze their initiatives, familiarize the viewers with the antecedents or increase suspense by the interruption of present-tense narration. The oldest example of flashback appears in one of French director Ferdinand Zecca’s movies (1901). American director Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane is a flashback-based narrative. Contemporary directors, such as the American Quentin Tarantino preferentially use flashback, but they are integral to crime dramas, thrillers, and psychodramas, as well.

Gestalt

School of psychology focused on the themes of perception and experience. The German term from which this school takes its name refers to the concept of form, globality. In fact, Gestaltists consider mental experiences as totalities that must be studied in their entirety, since “the whole is more than the sum of the individual parts”.

Golden section

When applying the golden section or golden ratio, we divide a line into part a and part b in a way that a+b will equal to a the same as a to b, therefore, (a+b) : a = a : b. The golden ratio is the basis of numerous natural forms, which the human eye sees as harmonious, for example, certain snail shells, flowers, or regular polygonal crystals. The ratio has been applied in the arts in many ways for a long time, such as in the case of the Egyptian Pyramids, ancient as well as Renaissance buildings and paintings, modern works of art, photography, designs or typography. The golden ratio’s numerical value is expressed by the irrational number Φ ≈ 1,618 (Greek letter phi), and has a plethora of fascinating mathematical features.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a type of generally illegal drawing or writing that can be found on a publicly visible surface. Even though there is increasingly more scope for street artists today, graffiti is still regarded as vandalism in many countries. Street artists are deemed mainstream cultural outsiders opposing dominant values. Used for self-expression, graffiti has become the medium of social outsiders, rebellion and protests. Graffiti has grown sophisticated worldwide, giving us some food for thought. A great deal of formerly illegal graffiti have become well-known and acceptable and is now integral part of the contemporary image of cities like Paris, New York or Berlin.

Imperialismo

The policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas [Merriam-Webster].

Kulak

After WW2, in accordance with communist ideology, in Hungary as throughout the Soviet Bloc peasants who refused to join farming cooperatives were discriminated against and persecuted. The word ‘kulak‘ itself comes from Russian, where it was applied for relatively wealthy peasants.

Medium shot

A medium shot (or waist shot) is captured at a medium distance from the subject. It is used for dialogue scenes, but also depict body language and more of the setting. Oftentimes it will frame multiple subjects as well as a portion of the background and space in general.

Metaphysics

In art, it indicates a pictorial current of the twentieth century that wants to represent what is beyond the physical appearance of reality, beyond the experience of the senses. The main characteristics of metaphysical works are: perspectives built according to multiple incongruent vanishing points; the absence of human characters and a strong sense of solitude; flat and uniform color backgrounds; timeless settings (outside of time); shadows too long compared to the times of the day represented.

Nouvelle Vague

A film movement born in France in the late 1950s, led by critics associated with the journal ‘Cahiers du cinéma’, some of whom became filmmakers. A media coinage, the term was first used at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival. The Nouvelle Vague’s low-budget location-shot films, with their loosely-constructed narratives, free editing styles, air of youthful spontaneity, and homages to Hollywood genres and B-movies, energetically challenged the conventions of French 1950s ‘quality’ cinema.

Phenomenology

In its broadest meaning, ‘phenomenology’ signifies a descriptive philosophy of experience. The aim of phenomenology is to delimit the entire, endless realm of experiences, in all their diverse types – perception, phantasy, etc.

Pochoir

Manual coloring technique, similar to the stencil, which consists in making masks to place on the film where a hand of color will be applied. In this way, the color adheres to the visible parts, without affecting the others.

Positivism

A system of philosophy based on the view that whatever exists can be verified through experiments, observation, and mathematical or logical proof. Positivists are almost always strong realists – that is, they believe that what we experience as reality is really out there in the world. In other words, they believe in objective truth.

Sinbad

Sinbad (the sailor) is a character of Arabian tales. During his seven legendary voyages he encounters and fights a variety of mythical creatures and monsters. His main characteristic is his restlessness: no matter how luring his life prospects are following his latest glorious adventure, in a short while he gets bored and sets sail again. Gyula Krúdy – for whom One Thousand and One Nights and especially the adventures of Sinbad were among his favourite childhood reads – in the first two decades of 20th century published several sets of stories about a restless man named Sinbad who keeps floating from one place and relationship to another. Those stories became the raw material for Zoltán Huszárik’s film.

Surrealism

Cultural, literary and artistic movement born in France and then spread in Europe between the First and Second World War, founded on the re-evaluation of the unconscious, the imagination, the wonderful and the magical as true reality and human truth; against logic, rationalism and the same traditional aesthetic and moral values.

Synaesthesia

Term from the ancient Greek sýn “together” and aisthánomaiossia “sensation”; it means “union of the senses”. It is a figure of speech in which one sense is described using terms from another or, more in general, a condition in which one of the five senses simultaneously stimulates another sense.

Thanatos
Tinting

Absorption of a liquid by a body or substance, without any chemical reaction occurring. Specifically, it is a process in which the emulsion or the support (film) is dyed, giving the image a monochromatic dominance with uniform colour.

Toning

Changing of colour of a solution after a chemical transformation. Specifically, it is a process in which the silver grains of the film are replaced with metallic salts or etched dyes, obtaining a chromatic effect in which the dark parts of the image are replaced with a color, while the light ones remain almost white.

Triptych

Originally meaning ‘altar with hinged wings’, a triptych is a type of altar whose central wood carved panel is flanked by two smaller panels. In an artistic sense, it is a frequently used image-creating method of medieval paintings: an altarpiece divided into three sections, including folding side panels. This method of construction was popular with painters of later centuries, as well. It was used for paitings, the themes of which were related to religion in general or religion through ironic allusions.