Rudolf is a good-natured pan-sexual golden boy, who cavorts on his rural estate with a host of beautiful, aristocratic lovers and friends of both sexes. He refuses to leave his country ...
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Miklós Jancsó's Silence and Cry is set during a turbulent era of disquiet, fear, persecution and terror, which permeates every corner of post-WWI Hungarian society. In 1919, after just a ... See full summary »
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, ... See full summary »
It is 1947; the Communist Party has just taken power in Hungary. In Jancsó's first color film, young students at a People's College have a debate with seminary students, but worry it will escalate into a fight.
Rudolf is a good-natured pan-sexual golden boy, who cavorts on his rural estate with a host of beautiful, aristocratic lovers and friends of both sexes. He refuses to leave his country idyll even though he has been ordered to by the Emperor, his father. Written by
The Australian video release cover of Miklos Jancso's 1975 ode to sexual freedom and personal rebellion had it placed alongside pornography in Australian video stores when it was released in the 1980s (alongside other classics like In The Realm of The Senses and A Zed and Two Noughts). It features naked bodies moving and lying all over one another in a wildly joyous orgy. Once you watch the film, you realise this is no simple recitation of the pleasures or mechanics of the flesh.
This is a fascinating film which can be aligned for many reasons with Pasolini's Salo (they were both made almost in parallel). Both films are subversive historical studies of human sexuality and the treatment of the human body as a political object. Or more simply, the way bodies are always at the centre of the forces of power. The two films are very different - but not absolutely distinct. Both do concern the events at a distant place where sources of political and social power subvert the order of things. In Salo, however, it is an insatiable facistic power which reproduces itself through acts of abuse and murder. In Private Vice..., it is a subversive power of a less annihilistic order aiming to alter order by embracing passions and overturning the military order. Quite the opposite to Pasolini's much more bleak vision of politics in the shadow of modern forms of exploitation since WW2.
Private vice, Public Virtue follows a rebel son embracing the ideals of sexual freedom, dionysian joys such as wine and song, and the rebellious refusal to accept the orders of absent elders. The scenes where they mock the military ruler with caricatured masks as the army returns from battle is one such example. But throughout, the film seeks to alter roles and power structures. Women wield dildoes, nakedness is not the domain of women as in so many other films and sexual expression is an unstoppable force. The film is both a beautiful, utopian vision and a tale of the violent power of history.
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