Born on the day Edison invents the light bulb, Dora and Lili are separated in childhood after their mother’s death, and follow different paths. They meet again on the Orient Express in 1899, one a con woman, scamming money from men, the other a member of a group of feminist revolutionaries.
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It’s a true beauty, masterfully edited by Maria Rigo and unforgettably photographed by Tibor Máthé. The opening scenes almost invite us to gaze in awe at the quality of crisp white light and velvet darkness in the film – there’s no reason that you should stop gazing as it continues.
Thanks to Enyedi’s ludic, freewheeling storytelling, Mária Rigó’s impressionistic editing, and Tibor Máthé’s sensuous black-and-white cinematography, My 20th Century is about pleasure, not moral judgment.
This is a "fluff piece", for people who like films like AMELIE and so on. Visually pretty but lacking in substance. It does have cute kittens and puppies and a baby piglet and a very cute trained monkey so this film does have all of that going for it.
It borrowed part of its plot from 'Desire' with Dietrich and Cooper. It's charming and whimsical without going into twee territory. The thing I think that saves it is the love that it has for that time period is genuine.
This film is so nice that saying anything critical about it makes you feel like a brute. It's the filmic equivalent of a 80% cocoa brownie, sold in a stylish little cardboard box, in a stylish little shop that looks like it's 1900, on a stylish little promenade with chic people pretending they are somewhere and sometime else. No-one wants to harm such a good brownie and such nice people.
Neither a masterpiece nor a mere superficial exercise in visual storytelling. True, the artifice and playfulness tend at points to abstract from the film's latent substance, which makes interesting detours about contingency and how the latter is pregnant with enlightenment, even if, as in the Weininger sequence, this is still mixed with prejudice and regression. Illuminating, even if some of its bulbs fail to ignite.
Start a movie in a fin de siecle winter train and you got my attention. The fact that main character didn't speak Hungarian made the movie so much more interesting with all these sighs, giggles, etc.
I don't even know precisely why I liked it so much - will have to try to watch it again to find out!
A fairy tale cake filled with early 20th century nostalgia and layers of beautiful B&W cinematography, the icing is romantic and it’s got surrealism for decoration. It’s a beautiful cake, I say, with many delicious scenes but overall it’s rather fluffy and almost too sweet. There should've been more to chew on, I guess, for me to be satisfied. But I can enjoy a fluffy and sugary cake now and then.
Gorgeous and well-acted and strange and amusing, My Twentieth Century is part fairytale, part historical snapshot, and possibly a part musing on a vague notion of nature vs nurture. And it's entirely delightful.