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Gyorgy Palfi's second feature Taxidermia is definitely a milestone in Hungarian film-making, it is a truly astonishing experience and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to broaden their taste for cinema. I found the film to be a deep black comedy with some stomach churning, twisted scenes intermixed with beautiful artwork and sophomore characters.
Through chronicling the lives of three generations of one family (a soldier from the Second World War, a sportsman and a taxidermist) each is shown to have their own perverse and distorted lifestyle which is cleverly exhibited through (among other approaches), myriad masturbation, excessive gluttony, deformation, dismemberment and taxidermy. In this film Palfi has created a deviant and anomalous world and, via his own talented cinema techniques, has managed to depict it in a shrewdly reflective manner i.e. he holds a mirror up to our own. Those familiar with European cinema will be able to reminisce with the many influences on show, with some scenes even harking back to Pasolini's epic, Salo - this is also combined with many other surreal influences. Some would argue that Taxidermia is a gory, violent and unnecessarily eccentric film but it is all necessary in serving its narrative and is not present for titillation purposes - as is so often found in some of the more contemporary European cinema.
Generally I feel that Taxidermia tells of a society in which defect, sleaze and dishonesty serves its creators own personal vision or goal to further themselves and that this search justifies everything, regardless of how twisted or harmful. In addition to this journey Taxidermia presents the audience with some of the ugliest and darkest places of the human mind. Without saying anymore, I would even go so far to say that Taxidermia is one of the greatest feats of 21st century movie-making.
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