István Szabó

  • István Szabó – Édes Emma, drága Böbe – vázlatok, aktok AKA Dear Emma, Sweet Böbe (1992)

    1991-2000DramaHungaryIstván Szabó

    The story shows Emma’s and Böbe’s fight for survival, for keeping their position in society which they achieved with hard work in the previous regime. They don’t want to lose their place and become village girls again.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Tüzoltó utca 25. AKA 25 Fireman’s Street (1973)

    1971-1980DramaHungaryIstván SzabóRomance

    Memories and desires of the residents of a Pest apartment block condemned to be demolished swirl through this film by István Szabó. For the director in his thirties, the 1970s was the age of discovery; this work is an experiment at adapting the Modernist stream of conscious film genre for a Hungarian audience. The struggle of the individual against history is a recurring Szabó theme, which in this movie he takes closest to the limits of the narrative form.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Oberst Redl AKA Colonel Redl (1985)

    1981-1990DramaHungaryIstván Szabó

    Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become head of the Secret Police only to become ensnared in political deception.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Mephisto[4K Restoration] (1981)

    István Szabó1981-1990DramaHungary

    A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supercedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Taking Sides (2001)

    2001-2010DramaFranceIstván SzabóPolitics

    A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwangler’s reputation rivaled that of Toscanini’s. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies’ de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order–and justice–to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwangler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwangler’s morality–he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwangler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Hanussen (1988)

    1981-1990DramaHungaryIstván Szabó

    Austrian Klaus Schneider, who later comes to be known as Erik Jan Hanussen is wounded during World War I. While recovering in the care of Dr. Emil Bettleheim (Erland Josephson), the Doctor discovers that Schneider possesses empathic powers. After the war, with one friend as his manager and another as his lover, Schneider changes his name and goes to Berlin to perform in halls and theaters as a hypnotist and mind reader. His purported powers bring him to the attention of the Nazis which nurtures his fame and power – as well as his own troubles – to grow.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Mephisto (1981)

    1981-1990DramaHungaryIstván Szabó

    There are times in “Mephisto” when the hero tries to explain himself by saying that he’s only an actor, and he has that almost right: All he is, is an actor. It’s not his fault that the Nazis have come to power, and that as a German-speaking actor he must choose between becoming a Nazi and being exiled into a foreign land without jobs or German actors. As long as he is acting, as long as he is not called upon to risk his real feelings, this man can act his way into the hearts of women, audiences, and the Nazi power structure. This is the story of a man who plays his life wearing masks, fearing that if the last mask is removed, he will have no face.Read More »

  • István Szabó – Budapesti mesék AKA Budapest Tales (1976)

    1971-1980DramaHungaryIstván Szabó

    Plot Synopsis from
    Hungarian director Istvan Szabó’s 1976 feature Budapest Tales (AKA Budapesti mesék) unfolds in a purely allegorical, dreamlike realm, rich with indigenous symbolism. Following some great catastrophic onslaught – its exact nature unknown – a number of individuals emerge from hiding and discover a dilapidated old trolley car awash on a river bank. They instinctively begin loading all of their worldly goods onto the vehicle and pushing it along its tracks, destination unknown. In time, even the concept of a destination becomes secondary to the trek itself, and a number of key events befall the passenger/participants: a few lose all energy and fall by the wayside; the travelers run headfirst into a river that runs across a section of track, and must break the trolley down and move the pieces across, one at a time; occasional accidents and calamities arise, including the arrival of brigands. Read More »

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