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Hungary, 1987 (MIFF 1988)

Director: János Rózsa

János Rózsa's new film a modern tragi-comedy about strained family relations, whose meaning is universal. The first part, and probably the best, is an ingenious kaleidoscope tracing the frenetic life of a family, (headed by a well positioned businessman who brings his mistress home for a quick grapple) who so infrequently meet that they are forced to scribble messages on a kitchen board. The younger son has rigged up a complicated telescope spying system with which he can survey the neighbourhood while playing truant, and much of the action centres on him and the luxuriously appointed house, through which Elemér Ragalyi's camera prowls with maximum virtuosity. The film finally seems to condemn the parents for their self-centredness, but only occasionally becomes too serious and preachy. The fast moving cast are pressed into a tight ensemble and introduced in a witty sequence as the house and its inhabitants awaken and prepare for another quirky day." - John Gillet, London Film Festival programme, 1987

From an interview with János Rózsa: "Do you think people in other countries will understand the situation in the film - that leisure time has virtually disappeared in modern-day Hungary?"

Naturally. Everyone in the world recognizes a rat race when they see one.”

"Naturally Everyone in the world recog- nises zx rat race when they sec one.”

See also...


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Hungarian fairy tales always begin, "It was and it wasn't", and the spirit of the fairy tale is never far away in Gyula Gazdag's allegorical story of a young boy in search of his father ... Young ... More »


A chilling Hungarian adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Deeply grained monochrome images combine with a seething undercurrent of sex and murderous plotting to create a dark and sinister ... More »

City Map

The never resting, constantly changing mood of a city. ... Grand Prix, Oberhausen. ... More »

The Island of Mongooses

An interesting nature study film showing how the importation of mongooses to an island in the Adriatic cleared it of a plague of poisonous snakes. ... More »


Jancso's last film seen in Australia was his Silence and Cry (Melbourne Film Festival, 1969) and it showed the director probing the machinery of oppression in his unique style. ... In Red Psalm ... More »

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