On one hot summer night, the residents of a Hungarian apartment house slated for demolition restlessly revisit their haunted pasts as they face an uncertain future. In a gently turning kaleidoscope of dream imagery, regret-laden nostalgia and painstakingly intimate detail, the looming wrecking ball pales in significance to the accumulated experiences each dreamer revisits. Pre-war prejudice, occupying Nazis and Stalinist deprivations all come and go as each tenant’s backward glance yields moments of aching sensuality, infectious exuberance and catastrophic loss.
Tag Archives: Hungarian
Valamit visz a viz / Something Is in the Water (1944) Gusztáv Oláh, Lajos Zilahy, Pál Jávor, Klára Pápai, Gyula Koltai, Drama
John, his wife and son live happily next to the river in a small but cozy house. John is a fisherman, loves nature and his family. But something unusual disturbs the idyll: a mysterious woman reaching the shore …
Karoly Makk’s heartbreaking story of two unmarried sisters who cast wistful glances back at their lives, but still believe in hope and love, earned an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974. In this follow-up to the director’s internationally acclaimed Love, Makk once again exhibits his extraordinary skills at drawing emotionally compelling performances from his talented female leads. Makk’s film opposes the bleakness of the outside world with passion, love, and loyalty.
Les ripoux / My New Partner (1984) Claude Zidi, Philippe Noiret, Thierry Lhermitte, Régine, Comedy, Crime
Rene is a “ripou”, a rotten cop who makes ends meet by accepting bribes, presents and free drinks from the people he should be putting in jail. When his partner retires, he must team up with Francois, a young police school graduate with a righteous attitude. He is hard to break and Rene has to trick him. He introduces Francois to a charming girl and forgets to mention she’s a prostitute. Now Rene has something against Francois he can use in case his partner should want to reveal Rene’s little commerce with the underworld. The partners ultimately become friends, get one another out of a tough situation, and manage to gather enough money to buy Rene his lifelong dream: a small café near the horse tracks.
Egészséges erotika / Sound Eroticism (1985) Péter Tímár, Ádám Rajhona, Róbert Koltai, Judit Németh, Comedy
The manager of the country crate factory have TV cameras installed in the women’s dressing room. He and his friends amuse themselves by watching the women dressing. When the workers discover the cameras they decide to go on strike.
Kató Varga (Klári Tolnay) is unable to play its part in front of the Admissions Committee of the School of Dramatic Art. Geszty (Tivadar Bilicsi), severe President of the Commission maintains that she has no talent for acting and mercilessly tells you will never be an actress. Kató prepares to take revenge and under the false name of Katyi Csiba, dressed as a peasant village, obtains admission to the house Geszty. Turning everything upside down, she makes your life hell.
Álmodozások kora / Age of Illusions (1965) István Szabó, András Bálint, Ilona Béres, Judit Halász, Drama
Jancsi Oláh is in the transitional phase between adolescence and adultness. He is born in 1938, and is now getting his first employment as an electronic engineer. On some TV-screens he happens to see a young lawyer, Éva Halk, who arrests his attention. In his imagination she is the most interesting woman he ever saw. Jansci is part of a closely knit gang of young engineers. They see the older engineers as mediocre, and have grand ideas about developing new inventions together. With changing living conditions the five friends start to grow apart. At a party Jancsi suddenly meets Éva Halk. They fall in love, and find common memories in the engagement in The Pioneer Railway at the age of 12. Both of them also chose to stay in Hungary in ’56, when many of their friends fled the country. The sudden death of the gang member Laci in leukemia is a hard blow for them all. The fear of death grabs Éva and Jancsi. They start seeing each other as obstacles to their own development, and drift apart.
Lajos Kovács (WINGS OF DESIRE) stars as the misused Woyzeck, who ekes out a miserable existence sweeping train tracks, running errands for a bullying army captain and acting as a human guinea pig for a local doctor with ideas about free will. When his common-law wife begins an affair with a local cop, Woyzeck’s pocket Bible and near-starvation diet point him on a downward spiral of twisted redemption.
Johanna, a young drug addict, falls into a deep coma after an accident. Doctors miraculously manage to save her from death’s doorstep. Touched by grace, Johanna cures patients by offering her body. The head doctor is frustrated by her continued rejection of him and allies himself with the outraged hospital authorities. They wage war against her but the grateful patients join forces to protect her.
Another Way / Egymásra nézve (1982) Károly Makk, János Xantus, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Ildikó Bánsági, Grazyna Szapolowska, Biography, Drama, History
Political and sexual repression in Hungary, just after the revolution of 1956. In 1958, the body of Eva Szalanczky, a political journalist, is discovered near the border. Her friend Livia is in hospital with a broken neck; Livia’s husband, Donci, is under arrest. In a flashback to the year before, we see what leads up to the tragedy. Eva gets a job as a writer. She meets Livia and is attracted to her. Livia feels much the same, but as a married woman, has doubts and hesitations. In their work, they (and Eva in particular) bang up against the limits of telling political truths; in private, they confront the limits of living out sexual and emotional truth.