Archive for June 25th, 2013


by Allan Fish

(Hungary 1984 100m) DVD1

Aka. Angyali udvozlet

Like cattle in a treadmill

d/w  András Jeles  play  “The Tragedy of Man” by Imre Madách  ph  Béla Ferenczy, Sándor Kardos  ed  Margit Galamb  m  István Márta

Péter Bocsor (Adam), Julia Mérö (Eve), Eszter Gyalog (Lucifer), Györge Belme, Réka Gévai, Ference Foltányi, Mónika Oláh,

András Jeles’ miracle of a film is another one of those works that demand a rewriting of film history.  Imre Madách’s play is one of the great bastions of Magyar literature, often compared to Milton and Dante.  It shows Adam, Eve and Lucifer in the Garden of Eden and Lucifer giving the ‘first’ couple a view of what will happen to mankind, with Adam, Eve and Lucifer seeing themselves in future guises.  It takes in stops in Egypt, Athens, Rome, Paris, Prague, London and even visits the future in a yet to come Ice Age.  Adapting it for screen may have seemed insane in itself, but Jeles goes one step further; his entire cast would be made up of children.  There in itself is the problem and why the film is so little seen in the west.  In this so-called enlightened age, where Saw VI can get passed uncut but an astonishing work like The Annunciation is treated like Maladolescenza and its vision of naked but innocent children as unfit for viewing.

The film cuts out several of the scenes and incarnations of the Eden triptych, jettisoning Rome and Egypt and the future episode.  We go instead from Eden to Athens and the tale of Miltiades; from there to Constantinople where Adam becomes Tancred leader of the First Crusade, to Prague where he’s Johannes Kepler, to revolutionary Paris where he’s Danton and to Victorian London where he plays a nameless individual.  (more…)

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