The beginning of the film presents the reconstructions of the Buda Castle District in the ‘60s, then proceeds to give a broad perspective of the Hungarian construction projects of the era by focusing on public buildings. Among others, the film introduces the new city centre of Salgótarján, the university dormitories of Eger, Miskolc and Debrecen, the movie theatre of Tatabánya, the Lake Balaton resorts, the Round Hotel of Budapest, as well as various industrial facilities.
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Construction Film Archive
The film archive of the Lechner Knowledge Centre is a momentous and intriguing collection on the topic of Hungarian construction and architectural history from the period between 1952 and 1992, consisting of nearly seven hundred 16mm and 35mm film prints. Most of the films were produced by the Építésügyi Tájékoztatási Központ (Construction Information Centre) and its predecessor organizations, which is indicative of the importance the leadership then attributed to controlling construction and the related communication and thinking. More than half of the films are digitized and available at the YouTube channel of the Knowledge Centre.
The collection boasts of a wide range of film genres, including professional and work safety training films, art and architectural history films, technological films, and even construction propaganda films. Most of the works can be appreciated from a professional as well as film historical perspective, since among the creators we find the most prominent professionals of the era: architectural experts like Máté Major and László Csaba, and film directors like Sándor Simó and Miklós Jancsó, Jr. The lower-grade films are also worthy of attention: amusing as they might be with their ridiculously vacuous narrative, these films provide a unique insight into the era. The films also take us on a tour of various musical trends, such as the dance music popular in the ‘60s, or the dawn of the disco era from the ‘80s.
In our subjective selection, we recommend the following films: Mielőtt építkezel (Before you build) encourages private construction and advertises type plans. Felépült 1964 (Built in 1964) enumerates the major construction projects of the ‘60s, including the József Attila housing estate, as well as some of the most significant public buildings of the time, like the Karancs Hotel in Salgótarján and the row of hotels at Lake Balaton. A szecesszió építészete Budapesten (Art Nouveau architecture in Budapest) and A városról – Sopron (About the city – Sopron) guide the audience through exciting historic buildings. Csúszózsalus technológia (Sliding formwork technology) and Korszerű fűtésszerelés (Modern heating installation) are two excellent examples of the contemporary technological film. Among the films that carry propaganda message, the prominent ones are the now comical Mit válasszak (What to choose) and Lakáshasználati propagandafilm (Home user propaganda film). The films Mint minden művészet (Like any art) and Felszabadult építészet (Liberated architecture) present the eclectic architecture of the ‘80s, displaying the award-winning works of famous architects – Imre Makovecz, Dezső Ekler, Csaba Bodonyi and others – on the screen.
Access to the archive: