Close Up

23 October 2021: Twilight + The Liberated Film Club Book Launch


György Fehér, 1990, 105 min
Hungarian with English subtitles  

We’re thrilled to host the premiere of the remastered Twilight (Szürkület) György Fehér’s 1990 cult film, in an event launching the publication of The Liberated Film Club, an anthology edited by Stanley Schtinter and published by Tenement Press, with original contributions from John Akomfrah, Laura Mulvey, Dennis Cooper and many others.

György Fehér directed just two feature films in his lifetime – following a spate of electrifying (and mostly lost) TV movies – Twilight, adapted from Friedrich Durrenmatt’s furious ‘corrective’ of his maltreated screenplay It Happened in Broad Daylight (1958), and Passion (1998), a bleak and sprawling adaptation of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Fehér’s name, like his early films, has been lost to the ever-dubious pantheon of cinema history, but viewers will be fast to compare the character, tone and pace of his films to those of Béla Tarr. This is no coincidence: while Tarr is listed as consultant in the film's credit, Fehér has, in hushed tones, been described as his teacher.

In the introduction to The Liberated Film Club, the anthology at the centre of this event, Schtinter describes his decade-long campaign to obtain Twilight in its remastered form, as fundamental to the establishment of The Liberated Film Club. It is apt therefore that the title premieres with the launch of the publication documenting Schtinter’s “fascinating and liberating example” (Nicole Brenez), drawing together the substance of the events as delivered by its guests – flame-bearers for an alternative culture in London – including Chris Petit, Juliet Jacques, Mania Akbari and Sean Price Williams.

Close-Up was the home for these events: from 2016 to 2020, The Liberated Film Club drew from Schtinter’s expansive archive of “lost, suppressed and impossible” film: a guest would be invited to introduce a film; an audience seated to watch it through; but there’d be a disruption to that typical format. Neither the audience nor the guest had any advance idea of what would be shown. According to Sight & Sound magazine, “Herein lies the Exquisite Corpse of the Liberated Film Club, to align in ways you never would have expected and in order to show you something new”. When, in the same feature, Schtinter was asked why he had ended The Liberated Film Club, he replied: “to avoid it becoming a victim of its own success.” Ever unafraid to embrace contradiction, the Liberated Film Club returns, if only in spirit, for one night only at Close-Up, and Twilight finally descends…

With special thanks to Praesens-Film AG, Zurich.