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GRIMACES

Hungary, 1966 (MIFF 1967, Programme 31)

Director: Ferenc Kardos, János Rózsa

This film present the adventures of a six-year-old schoolboy, as recollected through the perspective of adulthood. It is a mixture of fact and fantasy, and it looks at childhood with understanding and amused indulgence. In the company of a group of enfants terribles, the little hero discovers the inconsistencies, and inherent humour of the world. The images change with startling rapidity when he remembers scenes in his home; some sequences approach slapstick, when centering on his ex-wrestler uncle, or on the pair of painters who fly into his room to slap vats of colour all over the place. Or they become poetic, as in memories of the games he had in the snow.

Penetrating the mind of a school child who is mischievous and irrepressibly gay, the directors — along with Malle and Vigo — have given us an outstanding evocation of childhood.

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