In December 1975 I saw this film, together with two of South Africa's leading actors, in Paris. A Hungarian film with French subtitles! A great deal of the nuance of dialogue therefore escaped me. Yet, the mastery was unmistakable. This was my first trip to Europe (unlike my friends with whom I teamed up in Paris and who had been around several times before.) I had just experienced Pier Poalo Passolini's Oedipe Re in Zurich and a Mauro Bolognini film, Per le Antiche Scale (Down The Ancient Staircase) in Milan. Great stuff.
But Jancso's Elektreia (or Electra, my Love) just begged for another viewing and I expressed the wish that the film would be showing in London (our next stop.) Lo and behold! It was on in London with English subtitles. After two more visits I realised I will never get enough of the film. It is a classic,modern in its portrayal and ageless in its storytelling. It defies description, because it is dance drama, classic theatre, melodrama and modern politics all wrapped into one. The pain it brings the viewer is frightening. It is one of those films where every shot is a painting that belongs in a gallery, without the camera work becoming pretentious. And the acting is brilliant. Thank you master Jancso! This is available on DVD and although perhaps not Jancso's greatest work, a must for the collector of serious cinema.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?