Top 10s

6. Béla Tarr: Satan’s Tango (Sátántangó)

6. Béla Tarr: Satan’s Tango (Sátántangó)
Top 10 Films

At over 7 hours long, Satantango, Bela Tarr’s magnum opus, is an epic like no other. Though length-wise it might still fall short of the 15-hour long Berlin Alexanderplatz, but unlike the latter it was a far more challenging odyssey ? and a more gratifying one too. This incessantly bleak and visually stunning work is a mesmerizing and tantalizing exercise in minimalism … Read more

7. Miklós Jancsó

7. Miklós Jancsó
Top 10 Directors

Miklós Jancsó was born in the town of Vác, famous for its old prison and churches. Jancsó’s father was a Transylvanian, whereas his mother’s family came from Romania. Originally Jancsó wanted to become a stage director, but because there was no institution of higher education of this kind in Hungary, he studied law and also ethnography and art history at … Read more

10. Zoltán Fábri: Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta)

10. Zoltán Fábri: Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta)
Top 10 Films

A romantic drama from a Hungarian village of the mid-1950s. The story of the love and rebellion of Mari Pataki, a timid young girl, has been betrothed to a wealthy bridegroom, a match her parents made for reasons of expediency. But she is in love with Mátéus, a young member of a cooperative. Their story is framed by the turbulent … Read more

9. András Jeles: Dream brigade (Álombrigád)

9. András Jeles: Dream brigade (Álombrigád)
Top 10 Films

The Dream Brigade focuses on Hungarian workers who are going to stage a Soviet play. As they rehearse, they begin to become more self-aware. They no longer see real patterns that help them to understand characters in the play, but rather start to become characters in the play. Their lives feel fictitious and the boundaries between fiction and reality are … Read more

8. Kornél Mundruczó: Delta (Delta)

8. Kornél Mundruczó: Delta (Delta)
Top 10 Films

A young man returns to his “home” in a Hungarian town located along the Danube. There, his father has died, his mother taken up with a new man, while his sister, with whom he appears to have had little previous acquaintance, works in the family’s bar. The young man clearly is not welcomed, except by the sister, but he sets … Read more

7. Bendek Fliegauf: Dealer (Dealer)

7. Bendek Fliegauf: Dealer (Dealer)
Top 10 Films

“I’ve had a hard day,” soft-spoken protag, known only as Dealer (Felician Keresztes), tells someone midway through pic’s hefty running time, “and it’s not over yet.” He begins rounds by delivering cocaine to an obese religious leader. He next visits the hospital room of a tightly swaddled friend whose skin burned off while sleeping in the tanning bed of his … Read more

5. Miklós Jancsó: The Round-Up (Szegénylegények)

5. Miklós Jancsó: The Round-Up (Szegénylegények)
Top 10 Films

In The Round-Up, Austrian soldiers representing the triumphant Hapsburg empire trap and interrogate the Hungarian partisans whose revolt against the empire’s rule has petered out. The period is the mid-19th century and only the legendary Sandor Rosza’s fighters stand in the way, succoured by the peasants. The drama is virtually divested of characters we can either sympathise with or hate. … Read more

4. János Huszárik: Sindbad (Szindbád)

4. János Huszárik: Sindbad (Szindbád)
Top 10 Films

Much of the merit of Zoltán Huszárik?s Szindbád (1971) is likely to be lost on those uninitiated in Hungarian cinema and literature. The film has little narrative to speak of: what story there is centres on the title character Szindbád, who sails, like his namesake, but in a metaphorical sense. Szindbád has spent his life navigating seas of women, without … Read more

3. György Pálfi: Taxidermy (Taxidermia)

3. György Pálfi: Taxidermy (Taxidermia)
Top 10 Films

A three-course ordeal of icky sex, Olympian gluttony, and autoerotic dismemberment, Gyorgy Palfi?s Taxidermia is consistently vile. Yet it?s also a sustained, unique work of art, and well worth the mess. A triptych, the first two sections of which are based on stories by Hungarian writer Lajos Parti Nagy (the third is an original story by Palfi and his wife, … Read more

2. Attila Gigor: The Investigator (A nyomozó)

2. Attila Gigor: The Investigator (A nyomozó)
Top 10 Films

At ?rst glance Tibor Malkáv seems like an ordinary 37-year-old man except for his serious communication problem. He is precise and silent. He loves to be a pathological anatomist. Malkáv’s mother, suffering from bone marrow cancer, is being treated in the same hospital where Malkáv works. The expenses of the surgery that would save her are far beyond his means. … Read more