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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin, Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

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Budapest prizes Taxidermia triumphs but Szabo is left holding the bag

And the winner was -- (don't hold your breath, just your noses) -- TAXIDERMIA! -- And not just the Grand Prize, named as "Best" Film from a field of 24 features by a jury including foreigners for the very first time
-- but four other prizes, to wit: two best supporting roles, both male and female, best "visual design", and ex-aequo with "White Palm", the foreign critics Gene Moskovitz award.
The best director award went, deservedly, to young Hajdu Szabolcs for "White Palm", best actor to Sándor Csányi for the comedy ""Just sex, and nothing else", (but, significantly, not for his central role in Szabo's "Rokonok"), and best actress to Orsi Tóth, for her work in a film called "Johanna".

The best first film prize went to Ágnes Kocsis for "Fresh Air" and the best screenplay award was shared by the three writers of "Sex, and nothing but", including the director, Krisztina Goda, who had a hand in the writing as well. Surprisingly, master director István Szabo, was left holding an empty bag -- not a single award of any kind, for his polished film "Rokoknak" which had some excellent performances that were overlooked in favour of no-name actors from other films.
Péter Forgács, incidentally, walked off handily with the best documentary film prize for his superb "Black Dog -- tales from the Spanish civil war" -- a film so rich I can't wait to see it again.

Regarding "TAXIDERMIA", which was, among other things, an experiment to see how much garbage an audience can swallow at a single sitting, there was general agreement among the local cognoscenti that this was a "very strong" film, and well made, a "tour de force" of sorts by hot young director György Pálfi". At the closing party I asked Prof. Ferenc Takács of Elte University what he thought of it and he aptly described it as "a calculated provocation". It will be interesting to see if normal Hungarian audiences take to this "calculated provocation" when it is released commercially.
Even the prizes which went to the supporting actors, Csaba Czene, and Ádel Stanczel respectively, seemed to me like some kind of insiders joke, for they had little else to do other than stroke each other and puke. Csaba, pronounced like the English word "chubby" seemed like an appropriate name for the obese "hero" who looks a bit like Herman Göring in his younger days, and actually did a good job of puking. I was told that --something I missed when I watched an un-subtitled screening -- that this is a story of three generations based on a series of short stories by a Hungarian writer having certain affinities with Franz Kafka. The masochistic self burning soldier of part I is, in the story, the father of the gormandic Göring look-alike in part two, and the taxidermist in the last apart of the film is the grandson.
Part two, the stuff-yourself and vomit competition, takes place in the sixties, so maybe this is meant as some kind of statement about Communism -- but if it was, it was totally lost on me. All I saw was a lot of puke, a lot of blood, and a lot of disgusting looking people. Different strokes for different folks?

An interesting side note: "Sex and nothing else but", although basically a light comedy, has apparently been earmarked as a competition (sic) entry in the upcoming Cannes film festival by the representative of the Big One who was here and obviously not only liked it, but thought it was Cannes competition worthy. One of the winning script writers, Gábor Heller, informed me that in the barely two months since this film has been out, it has completely swamped Hollywood blockbusters such as "King Kong" at the local box-office,(3OO,OOO entries so far and still going strong), which is most unusual for a home-made film here. Asked to what he attributes the surprising runaway success of this film, Heller said, "Three things came together. A really tight script, with a good story and no loose ends, (unlike most Hungarian comedies which tend to be dotty, spotty, and mere vehicles for popular local actors), a very good cast that really acted, and good direction". It's almost worth a trip to Cannes just to see what Ms. Goda's film will do there.

All in all, starting with the opening night tension around director Szabo's shady past and ending with the Taxidermia blow-out, this was one of the most interesting Magyar Film Szemles in many years and the emphasis on young blood seems to augur well for the future of cinema from this corner of Europe.

Alex, Budapest, February 9, 2OO6.

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