Sonic Fictions

The Old Infantryman and his Son, the Hussar (1917)

Photo credits: The National Film Archive

silent film, romantic comedy, runtime: 52 minutes
sound: Micleușanu M.

Director, screenplay: Mihaly Fekete (after Joysef Szigeti’s play)
Cinematography: Laszlo Fekete
Actors: Lili Poor, Gyula Dezseri, Gyozo Kabok
Producer: Transsylvania (Cluj)

In The Old Infantryman and his Son, the Hussar (1917), Mihály Fekete seems to have envisioned two films at once – a wartime romance in the shell of a comedy. The jack of all trades, the old infantryman, has a son who is spared enrolment, while the village innkeeper can already see his favourite offspring at the edge of the trenches. Yet at its heart lies romance, naturally – the former’s son loves the daughter of the latter, so a deal arises, whereby the boys swap places in return for an engagement oath. Surrounding it, the comedy; the slippery innkeeper lends himself to a wayward dream of sudden riches, hoping to find a hidden treasure in the woods. When the deal falls through and his son is ill-fortuned, the hussar pulls a fast one on the miser. From the contrasting architecture on which the two fathers’ dynamics are based – good-evil, modest-miser, nimble-squab, etc. –, what ought to be stressed is the matter of so-called patriotism. War is tragic, no question about it, but it also dignifies the infantryman and the hussar before everyone else. Let us not forget that Transylvanian film production arose all too close to the urgency of the First World War. (Călin Boto)

Micleușanu M. (Micleușanu Mitoș, b. 1972) is an interdisciplinary artist with various interests from poetry, literature, painting, photography to experimental music and video art. He studied visual arts in Chisinau and Cluj-Napoca. He has published Amokalipsis (graphic novel, Ideea Design & Print, 1999), Organismecanisme (short prose, Ziua Publishing House, 2002), Tuba Mirum (novel, Pontica Publishing House, 2003), Kasa Poporului (novel, Polirom Publishing House, 2008), etc. He made multiple unconventional musical projects (leftfield): The planet Moldova (co-founder), Antishow, Pharmacy & Funeral Services, Zelda, Fever39. Between 1998-2000 he made his first attempts in the field of electronic music starting with the Diaphragm project, and from 2002-2008, since the Pneumaton project, he began to focus more on experimental sound art. Currently, his electronic projects are signed as “Micleusanu M.” or “CPU99”, and the areas explored are at the intersection of modular and granular sound synthesis as a zone of interference between ambient, post-industrial and electroacoustic genres. Most of his musical explorations are based on a mixture of field recordings and various altered sounds generated with the help of different preparations customized by the artist for musical purposes.

As a consequence of the contractual requirements imposed by the Romanian Film Center we separated the video and the audio sources. The developed automatic system synchronizing the applications used may cause small delays due to your internet provider and devices (desktop, phone, etc.).
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