erik lundegaard

The Best Thing I've Seen So Far at SIFF

Before the screening of “Leninland” at SIFF Uptown today they showed a short film. I had no idea they were going to do this, so for the first part of the short I assumed we were watching “Leninland,” about a museum dedicated to Vladimir Lenin in Gorky, Russia, which opened in 1987. More on that later.

This obviously wasn’t that. The camera focused on an older couple in a car. Klára (Judit Pogány) is overweight and in the passenger seat. Her first words warn about the speed limit. At one point she tells her husband, Vilmos (Zsolt Kovács) to turn left, then adds, “Be careful—cars are coming from the opposition direction,” as if he’s never turned left before. She doesn’t do this nastily. She just does it. And she keeps doing it.

Vilmos is a bit intense behind the wheel. At times he gets angry. Early on, he says he’s going to record her one day so she can hear what she sounds like, and eventually he does this. He takes out the small recorder and places it triumphantly on the dashboard. She’s taken aback, stares at the thing, then sits in uncomfortable silence for 15, maybe 30 seconds, chomping at the bit. Finally she just starts talking again in the usual manner: watch out for this, the speed limit is that, what’s this road called again? He gives a small cry. It could be a cry of triumph or frustration. Maybe some combination.

I don’t want to give it away, but if you have a chance to see this Hungarian short, called “Újratervezés” (“My Guide”), do. It’s subtle, sweet, funny, poignant.

You can find a trailer for it here. Written and directed by Barnabás Tóth, of Strausborg, who has apparently only made shorts and TV episodes.

Other SIFF 2014 reports:

Ujratervezes


Posted at 02:27 PM on Fri. May 23, 2014 in category Movies  
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