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Electra, My Love-Movie Review 03/03/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, Hungarian language film, Movies, Musical.
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Electra, My Love (Hungarian) 1974
Szerelmem, Elektra

Winner, Special Prize, Cannes Film Festival

Directed by Miklós Jancsó; written by László Gyurko and Gyula Hernádi
Adapted from the play by László Gyurko
Starring Mari Tōröcsik, Gyōrgi Cserhalmi, József Madaras, and Lajos Balázsovits

An artistic rendition of the story of Electra (Tōröcsik) and Orestes (Cserhalmi) who avenge the death of their father at the hands of their stepfather Aegisthus (Madaras). Jancso sets the play on the plains of Hungary, complete with Hungarian folk music and crowds of dancers (many of them naked). Very beautiful and moving performances, music, and choreography, with a surprise ending.

Director Miklós Jancsó is known for his stylized storytelling, extra-long takes (even in short films like this one), and political allegories.

This is a film that gets mixed reactions, and it will probably not to be to everyone’s taste. I enjoyed it very much, especially the performance by Mari Tōröcsik, as she portrays Electra’s emotional extremes, first of madness and then almost delirious joy.

71 min. Not rated. Nudity.

 

The Porcelain Doll-Movie Review 10/15/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Based on a novel, Dark Drama, Drama, Hungarian language film, Movies.
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The Porcelain Doll (Hungarian) 2005

Adapted from the novel Star Farm by Ervin Lazar
Directed by Péter Gárdos

A trio of brief, mystical, and slightly macabre stories, seemingly with a common theme of examining the possibilities of life after death.

Although I found the opening credits amusing, with the actors silently doing chores and other mundane activities, the stories are not lighthearted or humorous.

In the first a young boy is shot and killed because he performed better than a soldier on some physical skills. His aunt attempts to heal the wounds.

Next, a government official convinces a community that he can bring dead children back to life. When they emerge they look as if they were just sleeping.

Last, an elderly couple defies the order to relocate and are eventually caught.

I won’t tell the outcomes of the stories, and leave it for you to decide whether they are thought-provoking or perplexing. I experienced an agreeable mix of reactions that leads me to recommend this film. Please let me know what you think.

75 min. Not rated. Violence.