Shall we start boxing everything up?! This film is not noted as among the best of Zoltán Fábri's unquestionably spectacular directing career. And yet... Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves! Half a century ago, the world was different. Maybe even the Earth itself turned on a different axis, and contemporary critics were determined to see this film - based on a screenplay/novella/play by István Örkény - as a satire. But what if we instead try to understand it as a grotesque fairytale? Indeed, Fábri himself described his work as a "20th century fairytale". It is certainly worth watching/re-watching.
The Toth Family is a decidedly noisy silent film. The characters never stop talking, the crickets chirp, dogs bark, a brass band plays and the paper cutting board chops up and down - all topped off by the voice of the narrator (Iván Darvas). Oh, and András Mihály's film score, which pays tribute to the burlesques of silent cinema. And here we find a caricature of theatrical acting. The Hungarian acting stars Sinkovits and Latinovits are incredible. But so is the rest of the cast. Fábri use...s movement, gestures, costume, props and even colours and space as if we were engrossed in a naive yet refined silent film. Grotesque. If you watch the film with this approach, the war taking place somewhere far away loses some of its relevance. With what kind of sorcery could we believe that the events taking place in a small village will have an impact on the front? Just as the Toth family's martyrdom is brought into question. Because thanks to the major, the Toths become more important in their own community, they become the focal point. Enabling them to grasp on to a moderately high moral pedestal. Those looking for a satire, will also seek sin, and evil. The war, perhaps? But what if the thoroughly decent heroes of our story are tossed into a situation from which there is no easy escape? Who knows. But if we take a long look at our 21st century selves too, perhaps such an interpretation will seem far from absurd. Anyway, that's enough of the snake-like space left by the self-eating snake!
In Hungarian, without subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
You may purchase tickets online and in person for this performance using a Müpa Budapest gift voucher or by debiting the leisure allowance on OTP, K&H or MKB SZÉP cards.
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