György Pálfi – Taxidermia (2006)

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AMG: A strange young man takes his family’s long tradition of bizarre behavior to new heights (or depths) in this wildly perverse and explicit horror comedy from director Gyorgi Palfi. Kalman Balatony (Gergo Trocsanyi) is a grotesquely fat gentleman who was fathered by an angry hospital orderly getting revenge on his boss by having sex with his wife. While the embittered husband killed the orderly when he was caught in the act, Kalman was born as a result of the wife’s indiscretion, and when he grows to adulthood he earns a modest fame as a competitive eating champion. At an eating contest, Kalman meets a female competitor, the freakish Gizi (Adel Stanczel), and the two fall in love. Kalman and Gizi marry, and she gives birth to a son, Lajos (Marc Bischoff), who grows up to be just as skinny as his parents are fat. Lajos studies taxidermy and takes up preserving animals as a career when he isn’t busy taking care of his elderly and increasingly massive father. Lajos also raises a handful of unusually large house cats, and when they begin to turn on their master, Lajos uses his talents to keep them around the house without the danger of their bothering anyone. Taxidermia received its North American premier at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Continue reading

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Pál Sándor – Régi idök focija aka Football of The Good Old Days (1973)

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„By the middle of the 70s, partly due to television, Hungarian films had lost much of their audience. The allure of disguised social criticism – one of the secret reasons why Hungarian films were so successful at foreign festivals – started to wear off. After 1968 social criticism became pointless. The first director to open up towards the audience (along with Zoltán Fábri) was Pál Sándor. Mourning the loss of left-wing ideals of freedom he recreated the illusion of a past community. The audience responded to his grotesque, nostalgic tone and the stories where the emphasis was always placed on the microclimate of human relationships. His “retro-films” were rich in self-irony. He never analysed and never criticised, he just told a story, created a poignant atmosphere and passionate characters. (Szeressétek Odor Emíliát – Love Emilia! 1968, Régi idők focija – Football of The Good Old Days 1973, Herkulesfürdői emlék – A Strange Role 1976, Szabadíts meg a gonosztól – Deliver Us from Evil 1978). Continue reading

Miklós Jancsó – Szegénylegények AKA The Round-Up (1966)

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In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, the army rounds up suspects and jails them in an isolated fort. The authorities do not have the identity of the guerilla leaders, who are supposed to be present among the prisoners. However, they know enough about some of the suspects to apply perfidious forms of coercion effectively. Continue reading

Zoltán Fábri – A Pál-utcai fiúk aka The Boys of Paul Street (1969)

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This film was nominated for the Oscar Awards in 1969 as the best foreign language film.

The film originated from a novel created by the Hungarian writer Molnar Ferenc in 1906.
The book was chosen as a class reader in Hungary for children aged 11.

About the book from Wikipedia:
“The book has earned the status of the most famous Hungarian novel in the world. It has been translated into many languages and in several countries (like the UK and Italy) it is a mandatory or recommended reading in schools. Ernő Nemecsek is now ranked there among the eternal heroes of youth literature like Oliver Twist or Tom Sawyer. The novel can be easily read in most parts of the world as if its story could have happened anywhere and in any age.”
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Zoltán Fábri – Körhinta AKA Merry-Go-Round (1956)

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The story concerns a young couple who “meet cute” at a fairground. As they dance the night away, the boy expresses his love for the girl, resulting in a startling reaction. The film is unabashedly sentimental, but the performances of the two leads transcend the storyline’s gooier passages. Korhinta was Hungary’s primary entry in the Cannes Film Festival of 1956 — yet another feather in the cap of director Zoltan Fabri, who went on to helm such classics as The Boys from Paul Street and The Fifth Seal.
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András Sólyom – Érzékek iskolája Aka School of Senses (1996)

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Quote:
From the pen of famed Hungarian novelist Peter Eszterhazy comes this erotic tale of passion and betrayal. Lili, a young gypsy girl, falls madly in love with a dashing salesman who introduces her to life’s sensual pleasures. When Lili discovers he is engaged to another, her life begins to spiral downward into unending sexual liaisons and an unsatisfying marriage. Eszterhazy wrote the novel under the pseudonym Lili Csokonai–the main character–so the story unfolds through her eyes, like an autobiography. The film’s complex weaving of flashbacks and memories perfectly captures Lili’s haunted perspective on her life as does Tibor Mathe’s beautiful cinematography. Continue reading

György Pálfi – Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012)

Quote:
A film where anything can happen – the hero and the heroine changes their faces, age, look, names, and so on. The only same thing: the LOVE between man and woman… in an archetypical love story cut from 500 classics from all around the world

Reviews:

Saw this tonight at the Sydney Cockatoo Island Film Festival.

An interesting work. Really tests the limits by telling a story without a main actor, without a script, without a location. Achieves a certain level of film making bordering on genius or dilettante. What has been done here deserves notice by anyone who has interest in any aspect of film and creative process. Continue reading

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