THE PACIFIST (Miklós Jancsó, 1970)

From Italy, France and West Germany, and in the Italian language, Miklós Jancsó’s La pacifista revolves around Barbara, a journalist who becomes a target of the neo-fascist group she is covering. While it lacks the formal rigor of the filmmaker’s Hungarian masterpieces, it is a dazzling, enchanting piece of work, pulsatingly contemporary (circa 1970), increasingly […]

THE CONFRONTATION (Miklós Jancsó, 1968)

Responding to former-Allied reaction to the swift postwar Communist takeover of other east European countries, including Poland and Czechoslovakia, Soviet leader Stalin pressed for a “gradualist” approach in Hungary relying on leftist coalitions, including the nation’s Communist Party, in Hungarian elections. At the same time, the Soviet Union controlled the Hungarian police. Fényes szelek, alternatively […]

CANTATA [PROFANA] (Miklós Jancsó, 1963)

Miklós Jancsó, Hungary’s master formalist and greatest filmmaker, has said his cinema began in full earnest with Oldás és kötés (Solutions and Bandages), a.k.a. Contata profana, from a short story by József Lengyel. Like Otto Preminger, who passed over his half-dozen films preceding Laura (1944), Jancsó has passed over some thirty films that preceded this […]

WINTER WIND (Miklós Jancsó, 1969)

Croatian separatists, supported by Hungary, seek Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia, a dictatorship. Shortly before the assassination of Yugoslavia’s Serbian King Alexander in Marseilles, France, Marko Lazar is among a band of these separatists. Téli sirokkó, or Sirokkó, or Sirocco d’hiver, by Hungary’s Miklós Jancsó, comes to us (in French, in the one version I’ve seen) […]

PRIVATE VICES[,] PUBLIC VIRTUES (Miklós Jancsó, 1976)

I have just added this entry to my list of the 100 greatest films from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, which you can find elsewhere in this blog. — Dennis Neil Burger’s The Illusionist (2006) is the thinnest, dullest, most inconsequential film to touch upon the “Mayerling affair”; Hungarian master filmmaker Miklós Jancsó’s Vizi privati, […]