It is easy to see the influence of this work on Tarr: in the brooding exploration of violence, mental and physical; the uneasy cohabitation of man and his environment; and a clipped, austere aesthetic. Surreal and hallucinogenically beautiful, Jancsó’s work serves as an emphatic cry for freedom of will, politically and personally, and transcends time and remains eminently relevant to a contemporary audience. Programmed by Béla Tarr, one of EIFF 2011’s guest curators. –EIFF
A key figure in the development of the new Hungarian cinema, filmmaker Miklós Jancsó earned international recognition for his films Szegénylegények/The Round-Up (1965), Csillagosok Katonák/The Red and the White (1967), and Csend és Kiáltás/Silence and Cry (1968). These films best reflect Jancsó’s tendency toward abstraction and contain a distinctive combination of revolutionary viewpoints and highly structured, formal cinematic style. Imagery is more important than dialogue, which is used sparingly to encourage audiences to contemplate Jancsó’s underlying messages. The director tends to place actors in geometric patterns that mirror the landscapes around them.
Born in Vac, Hungary, Jancsó studied ethnography and art history while earning his law degree in 1944. He spent several years in Transylvania doing ethnographic research before enrolling in Budapest’s Academy of Dramatic and Film Art, where he graduated in 1950. Jancsó began filming numerous newsreels… read more
if it weren't for the exploitation of close-ups, which I surprised myself really enjoying, this film would have been perversely perfect. loved the camera movements and the claustration created both inside the prison and in the open fields surrounding it. the graphical ballet of the composition is breathtaking.
Jancsó's film introduced several of the stylistic features which became characteristic of his later work; elaborately choreographed scenes where his camera circles the characters unobtrusively. Set in 1860's Hungary, the story follows the arrest and interrogation of peasants who are suspected of being supporters of a revolutionary outlaw. It's an abstract parable, starkly portrayed but always thoroughly engrossing...
The prison camp as microcosm, historically and politically, with a dramatisation of ancient history used to comment on more recent events. The political view, climaxing with the dark satire of the final scene, is pessimistic, but the liberation of the camera as a force - able to intercede on behalf of these characters, expressing what cannot 'freely' be expressed - finds poetry in scenes of confinement and betrayal.
"A special case needs to be made for James Whale," argues Cullen Gallagher in the L Magazine. "Though not exactly forgotten - a pair of genre