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eniko.basa at verizon dot net
Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:11:51 EST by admin, 99487 views
DePaul University, Chicago
Arts paper by Orbán, Clara (all papers)
Recent Hungarian Comic Cinema: Bridges to the World, Bridges to the Self
The last fifty years of Hungarian cinema have seen serious directors shift preoccuptions. Early post-war films such as Somewhere in Europe (1947) emphasized finding a place for those damaged by war. Cinema of the sixties and seventies criticized and at times poked fun at entrenched bureaucracy and totalitarian regimes (films such as The Witness ). Internationally prominent filmmakers such as Béla Tarr allude to the realities of Communist life in metaphorically dense, bleak portraits of stifling families and damned villages. It seems that in these decades, comedy was relegated to light period pieces on the margins of cinematic excellence.
The new millennium of Hungarian cinema has seen a resurgence of comedies, at times tributary of formulaic Hollywood products, but often still with enough depth to criticize established norms. In films such as Chico (2001), I Love Budapest (2001), Miracle in Kracow (2004), The District (2005), Just Sex and Nothing Else (2006), and Train Keeps a Rollin’ (2007), characters are searching for themselves as they desperately try to cement relationships with others. At times they travel to other, mainly ex- or post-Communist countries, encounter eccentric individuals both foreign and homegrown, and assert their desires for self-fulfillment. In recent comedies, it seems that self-exploration begins with building bridges to the Other.
In this presentation, I will look at some themes in recent comedies to explore this new direction in Hungarian cinema.
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