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ESSENTIAL HUNGARIAN FILMS

by Kenji
Hortobagy (Hoellering) My favourites: Werckmeister Harmonies, The Red and the White, Adoption, Love, Merry-go-Round, Father, Satantango, My Way Home — Here’s a longer list of significant Hungarian films – many now added to the site. 1919 Jön az öcsém/ My Brother is Coming (Curtiz/Kertesz) 1931 Hyppolit (Szekely) 1932 Tavaszi Zapor/Marie, Légende Hongroise (Fejos) 1935 Hortobagy (Hollering) 1939 Deadly Spring (Kalmar) 1942 Men on the Mountain (Szöts) 1947 Valahol Europaban (Radvanyi) 1948 Treasured Earth (Ban) 1954 Liliomfi (Makk) 1955 Merry Go Round (Fabri) 1956 Professor Hannibal (Fabri) 1957 A Sunday Romance (Feher) 1958 Sweet Anna… Read more

Hortobagy (Hoellering)

My favourites:

Werckmeister Harmonies, The Red and the White, Adoption, Love, Merry-go-Round, Father, Satantango, My Way Home


Here’s a longer list of significant Hungarian films – many now added to the site.

1919 Jön az öcsém/ My Brother is Coming (Curtiz/Kertesz)

1931 Hyppolit (Szekely)

1932 Tavaszi Zapor/Marie, Légende Hongroise (Fejos)

1935 Hortobagy (Hollering)

1939 Deadly Spring (Kalmar)

1942 Men on the Mountain (Szöts)

1947 Valahol Europaban (Radvanyi)

1948 Treasured Earth (Ban)

1954 Liliomfi (Makk)

1955 Merry Go Round (Fabri)

1956 Professor Hannibal (Fabri)

1957 A Sunday Romance (Feher)

1958 Sweet Anna (Fabri)

1959 The House under the Rocks (Makk, Hinsch)

1961 The Brute (Fabri)

1962 Two Half Times in Hell (Fabri)

1963 Cantata (Jancso)

1964 The Age of Daydreaming (Szabo)
My Way Home (Jancso)

1965 The Corporal and Others (Keleti)
Elegia (Huszarik)

1966 Cold Days (Kovacs)
Father (Szabo)
Round Up (Jancso)

1967 The Red and the White (Jancso)

1968 Cati/ Eltávozott nap (Meszaros)
The Girl (Meszaros)
The Lady from Constantinople (Elek)
Stars of Eger (Varkonyi)

1969 The Toth Family (Fabri)
Upthrown Stone (Sara)
The Witness (Bacso)

1970 The Falcons (Gaal)

1971 Love (Makk)
Red Psalm (Jancso)
Sindbad (Huszarik)
The Whistling Cobblestone (Gazdag)

1972 Dead Landscape (Gaal)

1973 25 Fireman’s Street (Szabo)
Photography (Zolnay)

1975 Adoption (Meszaros)
American Torso (Body)
The Fifth Seal (Fabri)

1976 Budapest Tales (Szabo)

1977 Family Nest (Tarr)
Mattie the Goose Boy (Dargay)

1978 Angi Vera (P.Gabor)

1979 Little Valentino (Jeres)
A Priceless Day (Gothar)

1980 Confidence (Szabo)
Czontvary (Huszarik)
The Fly (Rofusz)
Happy Birthday, Marilyn (Szoreny)
Narcissus and Psyche (Bódy)

1981 Mephisto (Szabo)
Time Stands Still (Gothar)

1982 Another Way (Makk)
A Diary for my Children (Meszaros)

1983 Daniel Takes a Train (Sandor)
The Dog’s Night Song (Bódy)
The Revolt of Job (Gyongyossi, Kabay)

1984 Annunciation (Jeles)
Colonel Redl (Szabo)
Istvan, a Kiraly (Koltay)
The Philadelphia Attraction (Gardos)

1985 Autumn Almanac (Tarr)
Sound Eroticism (Timar)

1986 Budapest Portrait: Memories of a City (Hutton, Mesz)

1987 A Diary for my Loves (Meszaros)
A Hungarian Fairytale (Gazdag)

1988 Damnation (Tarr)

1989 Mind the Steps (Orosz)
My Twentieth Century (Enyedi)
The Pregnant Father (Garas)

1990 A Diary for my Father and Mother (Meszaros)
Meteo (Mesz)
Twilight (Fehér)

1992 Junk Movie (Szomjas)
Slap-Jack (Timar)

1994 Satantango (Tarr)

1996 Wind (Ivanyi)

1997 Dollybirds (Timar)
Long Twilight (Janisch)
Outpost (Gothar)
The Witman Boys (Szasz)

1998 The Danube Exodus (Forgacs)
Passion (Feher)

1999 The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest (Jancso)
Simon the Magician (Enyedi)

2000 Werckmeister Harmonies (Tarr, Hranitzky)

2001 Moscow Square (Torok)

2002 Hukkle (Palfi)

2003 Kontroll (Antal)

2004 Masnap (Janisch)
Dealer (Fliegauf)

2005 Johanna (Mundruczo)
Before Dawn (Kenyeres)

2006 Taxidermia (Palfi)

2007 Connections (H.Gabor)
Hourglass (Tolnai)
Iszka’s Journey (Bollok)
Milky Way (Fliegauf)
The Man from London (Tarr, Hranitzky)

2008 Delta (Mundruczo)
Own Death (Forgacs)

2009 Puskás (Almási)

2010 Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project (Mundruczo)

2011 The Turin Horse (Tarr, Hranitzky)

2012 Just the Wind (Fliegauf)

2014 White God (Mundruczo)

2015 Son of Saul (Nemes)

2017 1945 (Torok)
On Body and Soul (Enyedi)

suggestions welcome


Delta (Mundruczo)

Merry Go Round (Korhinta), Fabri, 1955.
A young woman is enjoying the exhilarating freedom of flying through the air on rides at the fair with her impish jolly friends and a young man she’s taken a liking to. But her stern father does not approve of such cavortings at all. His mind is set on financial betterment, and her engagement to a more appropriate business-minded fellow; “land marries land”. Never mind that the not so likeable fiancé has already tried it on with our heroine, taking physical rights for granted and been rebuffed. So the course of true love is far from smooth, things are looking bleak indeed, the heroine is sliding into the slough of despond, but her true sweetheart is made of stern stuff. He knows what he wants, and he will not be put off by social conventions and some oppressive patriarch….He will make his own destiny, and there’s a slight physical resemblance to Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia, even his eyebrows are tough as he stands before us in close-up. There’s some social comment over the preferability of collectives to greedy individualism but this is a film that doesn’t bog down in politics. It swirls joyfully, it can be intense and grim, and it has its quiet lyrical patches too; a ladybird flies into the air and the heroine has her dreams.

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Jancsó Miklós

A key figure in the development of the new Hungarian cinema, filmmaker Jancsó Miklós 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 and documentary shorts until 1958, when he made his feature debut with A Harangok Rómába Mentek/The Bells Have Gone to Rome (1958). The film is one of the few in Jancsó’s repertoire that does not reflect his signature style. In 1963, he earned international acclaim for his medical drama Oldás és kötés/Cantata (1963).

Many of Jancsó’s films examine the terrible aftermath of war. Although his first films offered sympathetic explorations of the human characters, his later works became increasingly concerned with the use of imagery for its own sake. Jancsó’s landmark films of the ‘60s won many international awards and special recognition at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1972, he again earned international acclaim and the Best Director Award at Cannes for Red Psalm. Seven years later, Jancsó won a lifetime achievement award from the prestigious French film festival. He continued to make films throughout the rest of the century, earning particular acclaim for a number of increasingly enigmatic works, including Szeressuk Egymast Gyrekek…A Nagy Agyhalal/Let’s Love One Another…The Great Brain Death (1996) and Nekem Lampast Adott Kezembe Az Ur Pesten/The Lord’s Lantern in Budapest (1999). —allmovie guide

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There is a long article on HUNGARIAN CINEMA at wikipedia

Famous Hungarians include composers Liszt, Bartok, Ligeti, photographer Robert Capa, all round artist László Moholy-Nagy, footballer Ferenc Puskas, -cube-maker Rubik, and in films further afield, Michael Curtiz (Kertész Mihály), Bela Lugosi (Blaskó Béla), Peter Medak, Sir Alexander Korda (Kellner Sándor) and Emeric Pressburger. As of 2009 there have been 13 Hungarian Nobel prize winners

Oh and in literature there’s the great 19th century poem by Arany Janos, “A Walesi Bárdok”, The Bards of Wales, well known to Hungarians, still recited by schoolchildren, as a result of which i tried to get Montgomery twinned with the author’s home town.

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