I’ve never seen anything, but am a big fan of Tarkovsky, Sokurov (the one film I’ve seen), and Bela Tarr. What would you recommend to start with? What is his best film? I was thinking abou getting Silence and Cry.
Due to the subjective nature of the question any discourse is more than welcome.
Also, if anybody wants to talk about how little Hungarian filmmakers get credit in the wider film community that’s fine, too.
i know the name, but dont know anything about the films or the man. anyone care to give us a brief write-up?
I’ve only seen The Round- Up and it’s pretty good. Maybe you should start there. And depending on where you are from(outside of the U.S.A. & Cananda) or what kind of DVD player you have ( Region free) you can easily obtain a couple of his films from secondrundvd.com
I keep hearing him named in relation to Bela Tarr, and I’m interested in any director who can sustain very long takes, even if it turns out not to be that great (like Angelopoulos’ Weeping Meadow). I figure if his films are available why not at least try ’em out, right?
I have the film The Red and the White by Jansco and i really love it. There are some similarities between Bela Tarr, Tarkovsky, and The Red and the White. This is the only film from Jansco i have seen but i highly recommend it.
Just to point out, anyone in Vancouver should check out the Jansco films coming to the Cinematheque this coming month.
Go to Amazon UK and get the Second Run releases of Round-Up and The Red and the White now! Unless you can’t afford it, then it’s best to wait…
“The Red and the White” is commonly considered as his best picture. I don’t think Bela Tarr’s films are similar to Jansco’s because their longtake have different tempo: Tarr is slow, Jansco is fast; but Tarr do mention that Jansco’s pictures have influence on him.
Thank you everyone. I will check out Round-Up, and The Red and White and move on from there. Appreciate it.
He’s really just the best. Hop to it.
The most important Hungarian director. ;) Watch The Red and the White, The Round Up, My Way Home. Do not watch Cantata.
About all I can say about Hungarian films is that the few I’ve seen have been consistently interesting and technically accomplished.
I have to put “The Red and the White” at the head of the class. Really shouldn’t miss it.
Oh i would also go with The Red and the White
So, I just saw The Red and the White (I don’t know if I should start a new thread on it or not), and it was amazing. The first shot was incredible, where the whites find the red and kill him. The camera work is simply astounding. The long shot of the officers singing, and marching to their death was extremely moving. And the final shot was so incredible, his face was as if I was staring into the face of war itself. Those are kind of my first impressions of it, I’ll try to see it again soon, but God what an amazing film.
Oh… and I wish nurses were really that pretty. I’d break my own leg right now if they were, but that seems really disrespectful to the films message.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
Don’t mention it! What a great movie!
I actually saw the movie on a theater and I enjoyed but don’t see the reason to be so mesmerized by it. There is a paradox in the movie that I cannot solve:
With the intention of fully expressing the absurdities and monstrosities of war, Jancso simply shows us the entanglements of battles in war where there is a choice to have a limited narrative (there is no clear protagonist) and also to not take sides between the reds and the whites. Nonetheless, all the discussions about the movie are mostly centered on artistic choices (photography, no point of view, long shots, and so on) than in actually denouncing the horrors of war. Movies that are obviously one-sided and narrative oriented ( Come and See for instance) seem to extract way more gut reactions against the horrors of war than The Red and White. It sure works that way for me and makes me question what is the point of the movie.
I’ve seen the physical “horrors” of war depicted in various ways in a great number of films. Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Three Kings, Jarhead all spring to mind. But I’ve also read Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong and Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy. I’ve read Up The Line to Death. I’ve read a variety of prose and poetry that depicts the physical horrors of war in ways which lead the imagination into a far more terrifying reality of what war is than any film I’ve ever seen. I appreciated the form of The Dear Hunter for many years. I think the way Comino structures the film is very effective and makes the brutality in the latter sections all the more powerful as a result. Rather than any effects-driven recreation of carnage, what I admire more in a work like Jarhead is the film’s questioning of the recruitment of young males who are so intellectually and emotionally ill-equipped to go to war in the first place. Physical brutality interests me least of all aspects of war cinema. I gravitate towards films like Jansco’s The Red and The White, Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and Malick’s The Thin Red Line. Films that very effectively dramatise the banality of war. What Jansco so evocatively portrays during the first section of The Red and The White is the sheer casualness and randomness with which some men are executed and others are granted temporary reprieve; the lacklustre efforts to escape. The tedium of war. The tedium which infuses both the aggressors and the aggressed. Kubrick’s inspired direction of the hilarious and pitiful Sgt Hartman, a sublime mixture of seniority complex, self-aggrandisement, love of profane language and overt masochism and the questions this raises about authority in the armed forces. The masterful and courageous depiction of that unforgettable and extremely protracted argument between Lt. Tall and Captain Staros regarding the plan to take the hill, where Malick manages to create a semantic duality hard to match in the genre: on one level a fierce metaphysical battle between male ego and male conscience, on another a time-honoured paradox, the extreme tension and utter absurdity that so often characterises clashes of rank. These three films have something to say about aspects of maleness that far transcends the restricted temporal dimension of the individual conflicts.
You raise a lot of issues many of which I will not have time to comment on. Let me just make a first note on what you say about the Red and the White. It is hard for me to feel in a deeply emotional level the randomness in which soldiers are spared or killed if the only thing that connects you to them is their color. Some are red and others are white. All the characters there are simply and nothing more than soldiers. The fact that we don’t know anything else about them prevents the audience to have a very visceral and guttural reaction to the monstruosity that is being shown. I agree that the brutality of war does not come necessarily from its physical depiction as you say, but if the forces (torture, death, psychological violence, and so) being exerted on a soldier do not provoke me primal reactions then I have issues with the movie. As you pointed out, I also love how the Deer Hunter leaves me on a anti-war rampage any time I see it.
Not that it matters, but the sergeant in Kubrick’s movies was taken directly from the one in Officer and Gentleman, with the same looks, lingo, hate, and brutality.
i have always found the affinity expressed by the harshly proletariat and countercultural bela tarr for the refined jansco rather curious[i also want this long discontinued thread to restart ]
Well, I have to say…thanks Liamallen for reviving this thread, it’s exactly what I needed to expand my list of Great Threads on the Auteurs!
Jancso’s Electra My Love and Red and the White I hold dear in my heart and I also love Way Home and Round-Up. I’m dying to see more current stuff by him. I hope we get more responses like in the other directors’ threads I re-discovered.
Jancso at his raucous, delirious, post-communist era best: God Walks Backwards, Lord’s Lantern in Budapest and Last Supper At the Arabian Gray Horse.
Though people who are fond of Electra, Red Psalm and so on (and classicists) will probably hate the late Jancso’s sublime excess. Jancso mocks and parodies his own earlier work in his 90s-onwards films. He remains the last great East European auteur from the 60s and 70s who rises like the phoenix from the ashes of communism. Long live Pepe and Kapa :)
I will be watching some more Jancsó soon. I have only seen The Red and The White, and Red Psalm so far, and both are amazing! His long takes of the Hungarian plains are most likely what inspire Tarr.
jansco admitted in a fairly recent interview in sight and sound that his former formalist approach was not particularly suited to the modern mentality of film goers[he obviously is not cognizant of his disciple tarr]
Nick, check out THE ROUND UP which is amazing. And has some really great moustaches and fur coats.
(Second Run puts out a region 0 disk, I think, available on amazon.co.uk…Second Run also ships globally)
@Ben: That is the next Jancsó I plan on watching. Then probably Silence and Cry.
Finally got around to watching The Round Up. Probably my favorite Jancsó so far. Great portrayal of revolutionary Hungary. The cinematography was some of the best I have ever seen. This would be a treat to see on a big screen. Beautiful black and white wide angle shots. I love how much is shown through simple gate openings throughout the film. I’ll have to get the Second Run disk, and probably get an adequate TV at some point….
It’s really spectacular on the big screen. I’m inclined to think that black and white scope can do no wrong regardless of the quality of the film (COMPULSION, I’m looking at you).
I agree, black and white scope is great. Where did you get to see it on the big screen?
There was a good glut of Jancso at Walter Reade in New York a few years back. Saw THE RED AND THE WHITE and THE ROUND UP there…projected THE ROUND UP about 10 years ago and had been dying to see it again since, but that crap VHS was the only option till the PAL DVD came out.