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Four by Hungarian Master Miklós Jancsó

December 5, 2009 - December 18, 2009

Red Psalm, December 11

The Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó has made over forty films from his debut in 1958 to now, but it’s his work from the 1960s that continues to astonish viewers and inspire other filmmakers. Made up of complicated long takes that sinuously weave across landscapes and among groups of people, these works are visual ballet and political analysis in one, fluid and sensuous yet grounded in a sharp critique of the repressive climate of Cold War–era Hungary. Set in the nation’s violent past, their narratives tell of revolution, massacre, and betrayal, metaphors for contemporary oppression; but their visuals, ever flowing, never stopping, create an oppositional force of constant movement, resistance, and life. To see these films, presented here in new prints, is to become entranced in the motion of the camera, and in the possibilities of the cinema.

Jason Sanders
Associate Film Notes Writer

Saturday, December 5, 2009
6:00 p.m. The Round-Up
Miklós Jancsó (Hungary, 1966). A prison on the vast Hungarian plains, and the prisoners and guards that circle therein, are at the crux of this critique of the relations between the powerful and the powerless. “Boldly stylized, a synthesis of Antonioni, Bresson, and Welles.”—J. Hoberman (94 mins)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
7:00 p.m. The Red and the White
Miklós Jancsó (Hungary, 1967). Central Russia during the 1918 Civil War is the setting of Jancsó’s disquietingly beautiful ballet of war and death, shot in breathtaking black-and-white CinemaScope. (90 mins)

Friday, December 11, 2009
6:30 p.m. Red Psalm
Miklós Jancsó (Hungary, 1972). Jancsó won Best Director at Cannes for this riveting psalm-song set during an ill-fated Hungarian farmworkers’ revolt. “Perhaps the most ecstatic fusion of political and formal radicalism since Dozvhenko’s Earth.”—J. Hoberman (88 mins)

Friday, December 18, 2009
8:40 p.m. Silence and Cry
Miklós Jancsó (Hungary, 1967). A former Red soldier hides from a ruthless crackdown in this hypnotic black-and-white epic. “Totally unlike anything else in the cinema.”—John Russell Taylor (73 mins)

Copresented with the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at UC Berkeley.