The Red and the White (1967)
American Pastoral (Ewan McGregor)
If my limited experience with Philip Roth adaptations is any indication, his novels deal in emotion. There are existential crises concerning identity involved, each a character study about life’s impact beyond the surface experiences propelling them forward. This isn’t something easily translated from page to screen when so much consists of internalized motivation. You must really look into the text, ignoring plot to
Though he made some terrific films in the 80s, like the evocatively titled Season of Monsters and Jesus Christ’s Horoscope, it was the 1960s and 70s which were Jancsó’s heyday,
At the 1966 Cannes film festival, a movie whose title sounded like a western – but was actually Hungarian – caused a sensation and launched its director into the international cinematic scene, where he was to remain for a decade. The film of hypnotic beauty and daring technique was The Round-Up (Szegénylegények, literally translated as The Outlaws) and the director was Miklós Jancsó, who has died aged 92.
Jancsó's highly personal style had blossomed in this, his fifth feature. The Round-Up is set on a bleak Hungarian plain in 1868, when Austro‑Hungarian troops tried to break the unity of the Hungarian partisans by torture, interrogations and killings. There is little dialogue as horsemen drive the people to and fro, with power continually changing hands. Jancsó's ritualistic style manages to make the particular Hungarian situation into a universal parable of evil,
Jancsó’s death after a long illness was announced by the Association of Hungarian Film Artists.
Known for his long takes and for depicting the passage of time in his historical epics merely by changes of costume, Jancsó won his Cannes award for Red Psalm, about a 19th-century peasant revolt.
In the 1960s, critics ranked Jancso alongside great directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman. However, it was his use of scantily clad women, symbolizing defencelessness, which drew big audiences in prudish communist Hungary.
Known for his long takes and for depicting the passage of time in his historical epics merely by changes of costume, Jancso won his Cannes award for “Red Psalm,” about a 19th-century peasant revolt.
In the 1960s, critics ranked Jancso alongside great directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman. However, it was his use of scantily clad women, symbolizing defenselessness, which drew big audiences in prudish Communist Hungary.
Jancso was born in Vac, a small town north of Budapest. His parents were refugees from Transylvania, once a part of Hungary.
“My mother was Romanian. In civilian life, the family members were friends, but politically on opposite sides … For me this was a great lesson, that conflict, much less violence, will never solve the nationality problems,” Jancso said.
Jancsó's films included My Way Home (Így jöttem, 1964), The Round-Up (Szegénylegények, 1965), The Red And The White (Csillagosok, katonák, 1967), Silence and Cry (Csend és kiáltás, 1968) The Confrontation (Fényes szelek, 1968) and Red Psalm (Még kér a nép, 1971) - for which was awarded the Best Director prize at Cannes in 1972. He was at the forefront of the revival of Hungarian cinema and was known the starkness of his themes and a distinctive visual style that influenced filmmakers as diverse as Sergio Leone and Béla Tarr.
He received lifetime achievement awards in Cannes in 1979, Venice in 1990 and Budapest in 1994.
Fellow Hungarian director István Szabó said: “Jancsó occupies a unique place in Hungarian culture. If he hadn't made such films as The Round-Up, My Way Home,...
Call me a size-queen if you like, but I'm horribly partial to movies that pour on the long takes and frog-march the viewer without a cut through enormous oceanic expanses of screen-time. Pulling off movies entirely composed of shots lasting 10 or more minutes is a difficult undertaking, but when directors succeed, it's so satisfying that one almost mourns the impending arrival of a cut.
So I'm disappointed that Béla Tarr, today's supreme master of the serpentine take, as exemplified by his latest movie, The Turin Horse, has decided to retire from making movies in order to found his own film school in Split, Croatia. My fondest hope is that he will create a fanatical, cult-like environment wherein he can hothouse a generation of film-makers as grouchy, misanthropic and visionary as himself,
Among the various elements of camera style, the long uncut sequence has a way of getting attention for itself. Originally, the device was a constituent of mise en scène or the articulation of cinematic space (as opposed to montage, which is the articulation of time). Where mise en scène has regard for the subject in front of the camera and is associated with the realist aesthetic, montage enables expression by making new associations. The uncut sequence in films by Max Ophuls (e.g. The Earrings of Madame de…, 1954) is a way of maintaining the integrity of the space while narrating and this is also true of Miklós Jancsó (The Red and the White, 1967). In Ophuls’ dance hall scenes, for instance, the camera catches different elements of the action without a single cut, thereby establishing the unity of space instead of dismembering it – as Sergei Eisenstein
To follow up on yesterday's "Snapshot" from Marie-Pierre Duhamel, a roundup of what, in this case, we might as well refer to as The Raves of Others.
"Inspired by the true story of a Tijuana beauty queen who got mixed up with the local narco gangsters, Gerardo Naranjo's Miss Bala is a ferociously paced crime thriller, filled with atmospheric detail and exceedingly bleak humor," blogs the Voice's J Hoberman. "Here, even more than with his Godard homage youth film I'm Gonna Explode (the great discovery of the 2008 New York Film Festival), Naranjo demonstrates an impressively fluid camera, a feel for location, and a terrific rapport with actors. Stephanie Sigman, the natural beauty who innocently stumbles through the looking glass to find herself catapulted into a series of increasingly violent gangster transactions, as well as the televised Miss Bala pageant, exhibits tremendous poise in her first major role
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