Péter Szoboszlay’s strongly socially critical film is permeated by the stylistic motifs of psychedelic pop-art and hippy Art Nouveau. The hero is a typical figure of the soft dictatorship, the tyrannical janitor, in the character of which one can almost see the spectre of fascist ideology. The pseudo-documentary (albeit with sociographic authenticity) interview with the janitor is be performed by actor–director Péter Halász.
In Budapest, two rival gangs of young boys lay claim to a vacant lot. The hostilities escalate yet never quite boil over into actual violence. Just when things do get out of hand, however, the problem is “solved” by the city government, which takes over the lot for future development.
Zsolt, the shop window-dresser and misunderstood artist, flees to Anni, the colleague of his bride, on his wedding day. At the time, Anni is preparing in her rented room for her fifth entrance examination to the medical university. Zsolt persuades Anni to call his bride and tell her he has changed his mind, he won’t marry her… This unique work by György Kovásznai is for adults, it’s an experimental musical with bold style that radically runs counter to Hungarian traditions of the cartoon genre.
Singing on the Treadmill is a surreal operetta parody about the realities of day-to-day socialism. The film is set in a vast garbage dump where, in the depths of a quarry, next to a derelict factory building, two librettists are penning a frothy operetta about the paternalism of Kadarism, its lies, reality perceived through rose tinted glasses and squabbles over a housing allocation. However, their lacquered players are not prepared to bend to their will, they take offence and start demanding independence, rejecting ‘orders from above’ about partners and housing. Gyula Gazdag’s grotesque parody that works on several levels is amusing and dream-like, full of free-flowing associations and remarkable solutions. Citing its “disheartening existentialism”, the authorities banned the film for 10 years.
Faced with death, Sindbad looks back on his life. Old photos and letters evoke past loves and short-lived passions. In these rambling memories, he recalls past moments of pleasure in a woman’s smile or a magnificent lunch. The plastic world of remembering is demonstrated by the freely flowing visual images. This poetic vision made on the basis of the Sindbad short stories by Gyula Krúdy is a core work of Hungarian film. Zoltán Huszárik builds up a strange world from fragments of events, visual shards and subjective feelings.
In the mad morning rush, five-year-old Junior is constantly underfoot, then for a little nothing his father flies into a temper and as punishment Junior is sent to the bathroom for a few minutes. During this period of solitary confinement the boy’s imagination is let loose and a whole story begins to take shape in his mind in which finally he forgives the adults who are angry at him for no reason whatsoever. György Palásthy’s classical family movie looks as though it was made directly for the retro-wave of the future: from the bagged milk to the bubbling coffee-maker, everything is included that was part of everyday life from decades earlier while it takes us on a colourful trip back in time through the streets of seventies Budapest.
This Hungarian black comedy is set at a very special fantasy park that allows visitors to play organized war games. It proves to be a very popular attraction amongst the bored tourists until they suddenly realize that they are shooting real bullets. The authorities quickly close the park, but then recruits its director to begin using it to train real troops.
Alegory of the suppression of the 1919 revolution and the advent of fascism in Hungary; in the countryside, a unit of the revolutionary army spares the life of father Vargha, a fanatical priest. He comes back and leads massacres. A new force, represented by Feher, apparently avenges the people, but only to impose a different, more refined and effective kind of repression.