Thursday, May 26, 2005

Un Gotha Neeb Nick!

Last week I finally achieved something I've been dreaming of doing since the day I turned two and a half years old. I finally watched a Hungarian movie. And not just one. Now that I was doing it, I decided to go the whole way and watched two of them!

A large percentage of my rapidly dwindling readership is probably squinting at the screen in almost comic bewilderment and perplexity. "A Hungarian movie?!" you ask. "Why on earth would you want to do that?" And I counter with a rather clever (if I do say so myself) "Why not?" thereby leaving you stumped and gasping for breath at the sheer wit and perspicacity of the thrust. Not unlike the proverbial fish out of water, although you are unlikely to die as a result of my stunning counter (which, at the moment this goes to press (or the blog equivalent), stands at 8031). If you are new to this blog and don't get it, just take a deep breath and go read a complex passage on Advaitha. Then come back to this and life will seem a lot simpler. I seem to be rambling, and can't seem to stop. It's like some weird crazy demonic dude has taken control of my mind and fingers and is leading them on a merry little dance along my keyboard. Unceasing and unrelenting, indestructible and indigestible. Dead but not yet. Undead, actually. Wow. Advaitha.

Back to the Hungarian movies. The South Indian Film Chamber is a body that screens a wide variety of movies on a regular basis in Chennai. For just 450 Indian Rupees a year, you get a pass to all their film fests and special premiere screenings in Chennai. Last week was a Hungarian Film Festival. Not being able to watch the widely acclaimed tragicomedy Dad Goes Nuts, Anjana and I decided we'd watch a couple of movies that were played the day after the widely acclaimed tragicomedy Dad Goes Nuts which we were unable to watch during the Hungarian Film Festival organized by The South Indian Film Chamber. Am I repeating myself repeating myself?

The first movie was a really old one, of somewhat poor print. It began rather suddenly and went along at a blazing (and rather ununderstandable) pace for the first forty-five minutes. And then, just as I was beginning to get the hang of it, it ended. The movie was all about a group of farmers who believe in Communism, and challenge their landlord and the local authorities. Several levels of officialdom come to reason with them or threaten them but all fail. Potential imprisonment, mutilation of their limbs and the burning of their harvest does not deter the farmers. One batch of officials is bribed, another seduced and a third simply killed. And, in between each of these, they break into song and dance, usually with their arms across each others shoulders. Other activities include a certain harvest ritual which requires three nubile young girls to be stripped to the waist, and later dunked in a tub. Good fun. Also, they keep saying something like "Un Gotha Neeb Nick!" which means "Rights to the people!" I must say the music was actually very nice, as was the traditional dance... The ending was very well done - lots of symbolism. In the last few minutes, there is a mass massacre, and the last surviving communist shoots the commanding officer with a gun with a red ribbon tied around it. Actually, a pretty nice movie. Will try to find out what it's called.

The second, titled 'Forbidden Relationship' is a far more recent movie. Also, it's in color. Also, it was nowhere near as enjoyable as the first one. It deals wth the incestuous relationship between a woman and her half brother. When she first makes loves to the guy (he's a total stranger to the village; she's known him for about half an hour), she doesn't have a clue who she is. But when she later realises they're related, her love only grows stronger. She's a widow and he's a divorcee (with a slightly shady past to boot), and they find great warmth and understanding in each other. And quite a bit of physical love. They defy social mores and the law to get married. When they have a child however, the courts deem it illegal because the child may be born deformed and they are sent to prison. Separate ones. A year later, they meet again and presto, the second kid's on it's way. Prison again. And back for the next kid. They try to run away from the village, but are forced to return... it's a rather slow movie, but moving in parts. (I mean emotionally moving. Don't give me some crap about it being a moving picture.) Apparently, the movie's based on a true story...

So that was that. Two Hungarian movies in the space of three hours. Kinda fun actually, and decent air conditioned theater. My online research (read Google) hasn't really helped me understand their customs (especially in the first movie), but maybe, just maybe, a native Hungarian stopping by this site will help me out. Believe it or not, this site has actually received eleven visits from Hungary in the last six months! (StatCounter rocks!)

Next dream, an African movie, preferably from East Africa...

4 comments:

Gone Away said...

It's good to see what other countries do with film. When you get to the Germans, make sure you take in a couple of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's. Never mind the plot or the dialog - just look at the screen and see how he creates artistic masterpieces for the eye with each succeeding shot...

AC said...

Will do, GoneAway! Thanks!

Sparkling said...

I hadn't even heard of Hungary when I was two and a half, never mind their film industry, which I must admit I still don't know a terrible alot about.

AC said...

Here, I could make a terrible attempt at a joke by mentioning that my huge appetite as a kid resulted in my being hung(a)ry most of the time, but I won't . I really won't.