6.3/10
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10 user 2 critic

Vakvagany (2002)

Unrated | | Documentary, Mystery | 31 May 2002 (USA)
A strange film employing old home movies and newly shot footage in an effort to expose one Hungarian family and their mutiple problems from the 1940s to current. Narrated by James Ellroy, ... See full summary »

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Cast

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...
Himself
Stan Brakhage ...
Himself
Roy Menninger ...
Himself (as Dr. Roy Menninger)
Erno Locsei ...
Himself (archive footage)
Atuska Locsei ...
Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A strange film employing old home movies and newly shot footage in an effort to expose one Hungarian family and their mutiple problems from the 1940s to current. Narrated by James Ellroy, Stan Brakhage, and Dr. Roy Menninger. Written by Anonymous

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Unrated
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31 May 2002 (USA)  »

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$20,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
An outstanding, unconventional, accessible documentary film
17 August 2002 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

This is a film that deserves much more attention then it will probably ever receive. "Vakvagany" is at different times disturbing, thought-provoking, and hilarious. It is a documentary done by a relatively unknown director, and yet it is not only as good as any documentary film you will ever see, but to its great credit, it is also probably as accessible to a mainstream audience as a film like this could be. Hopefully the inclusion in the film of the renowned author and personality James Ellroy (at his wry best) will create an audience for the film; it has a timelessness about it that should allow it to sustain its relevance and impact over time.

Three different perspectives about a series of remarkable old "home movies" that were discovered in a decrepit apartment in Hungary are provided by a filmmaker, a psychologist, and an author. Their vastly contrasting input provides the perfect framework for the astonishing footage that is the foundation of this film. The decision by the director Benjamin Meade to splice the comments of a panel of interviewees with disparate perspectives about a central subject reminded me of Errol Morris's great film "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control."


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