I've watched this one a couple of times, and I think this is his masterpiece. As always the choreography is sublime, but there's less confusion here than in 'The Red and the White'. This is how your government systematically destroys you. I was intoxicated by the rhythms.
As expressionistic as anything by Dreyer, as potently historical as anything by Tarkovsky, as unsettling as anything by Haneke, and as lingering as anything by Tarr. The narrative is deservedly recognised as a counter to the austerity of authoritarian regimes, and its form is paradoxically epic and minimalist. No matter what limitations the director laments regarding cinema, this is a conceptual achievement.
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 striking similarity to Béla Tarr, who once said that there wouldn't have been a Tarr if there hadn't been a Jancso. For me, the Round Up is an incredible document of betrayal and deceit. But I do agree with Joshuah that it's helpful to read something about the subject first of all.
a beautiful captured film, yet it's subject i find incredibly bizarre and hard to comprehend without thoroughly reading about the subject- thus i find it even more bizarre this was Jancso's international break through... it's story feels most appealing to those familiar with these historical events.... Pasonlini must have seen this film, as it bares similarities to Salò.
Beautiful cinematography. Jancsó really knew how to show the depth of emotion behind the Hungarian revolutionary spirit. Tarr obviously learned a thing or two about photographing the Alföld from Jancsó.