Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Ildikó Bánsági, Grazyna Szapolowska, Judit Hernádi, Jozef Króner
Directors: János Xantus, Károly Makk
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Sports
Acclaimed Hungarian director Karoly Makk (LOVE, CATSPLAY) directs a startling romantic drama set against the aftermath of the failed Hungarian uprising of 1956. Livia, the quiet wife of an army officer, is a reporter for a... more »
5 Stars for a Lovely Tragic Story... 0 Stars for this Abomin
dooby | 10/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lovely, tragic tale set in Hungary in the dark years following the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. Outspoken idealist and pro-democracy activist, Eva, is finally able to land a job as a newspaper reporter after being blacklisted for 2 years following the crackdown. She meets fellow reporter, Livia, quietly married to a Hungarian Army Captain. Eva is lesbian and flaunts it openly. She finds herself attracted to Livia. She instigates a relationship, which after initial hesitation is reciprocated. Tragedy ensues when Livia decides to leave her marriage for her lesbian lover.
Both leads are not only beautiful but fine actresses in their own right. Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak deservedly won the Best Actress honour at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival for her role as Eva, but I thought Grazyna Szapolowska was equally deserving in her role as Livia. The lesbian scenes are very tastefully done yet still very erotic. The film itself won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes. This film is definitely worth watching but the Region 1 DVD is not recommendable.
The DVD from Facets/Bunyik is a disaster. The film is presented in its original 1.66:1 widescreen. Contrary to the 16X9 label on the back cover, it is non-anamorphic (Not enhanced for widescreen TV). Instead the film has been windowboxed into a 4X3 frame, with thick black bars on all four sides leaving a rectangular window in the centre for the picture. Print quality is bad. Dirt and grain is obvious in the brighter portions. The picture is very soft, occasionally blurry. It looks like a VHS tape. Sound quality is horrendous. The film was dubbed post-production and lip-synching is far from ideal but I'm willing to let that by. What is unbearable is that the volume levels have not been properly equalised. Anything spoken above normal levels becomes unbearably loud, as are all the sound effects and music. Normal speech is near inaudible unless you turn the volume up. The English subtitles are permanently burnt onto the print. Disgraceful. This is the last time I'll buy anything from this company.
The only good thing Facets/Bunyik provided is the 7-minute interview with Karoly Makk where he talks about the movie, the book on which it is based and his cluelessness about lesbianism when he first decided to make the film. Eva's interrogation scene with the bemused policeman is based on Makk's own interrogation of a lesbian friend about how lesbians "do it". Her irritated reply, immortalised in the film: "With One Finger, Two Fingers, and Three Fingers, you stupid idiot.""
tamiii | San Juan Capistrano, Ca. United States | 04/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in Hungary shortly after the failure of the revolt of 1956, this beautifully acted love story tells the tale of two women journalists whose affair is thoughtfully mirrored by their newspaper which also struggles with censorship, self-censorship, and the profound desire to tell the truth in the face of harsh oppression--personal politics at its best."
One of Makk's Best Films!
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 07/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The great thing about movies, and really the arts in general, is two people can sit down watch the same movie, read the same book, or listen to the same piece of music and have two vastly different reactions. In the case of movies, people are drawn to certain movies for various reasons. For some it has to do with the director, for others the actors, and still for others simply the plot.
I mention all of this because reading the reaction others had here on amazon I'm struck how people are merely content to look at Karoly Makk's "Another Way (egymasra nezve)" and classify it as a "gay and lesbian" film.
There were three reasons I originally sought to see this film. One was because it is Hungarian, the second because it is directed by Makk and finally I was interested to see it because I thought it was going to directly deal with the revolution of '56.
So as one may figure out, I had different intentions in seeing this film compared to others. The fact that it had a lesbian love story really had no impact in my desire to see the film at all. And while it is totally acceptable if that is all a viewer comes away with when watching this film, because after all, who am I to tell something how to view a movie, I must say, you are though skipping some of the best parts of the film.
Eva Szalanczsky (Jadwiga Jankowska) gets a job working for a newspaper in Budapest run by Erdos (Jozef Kroner) called "The Truth", an ironic title. Eva shares an office with Livia (Grazyna Szapolowska). The two are very different. Eva seems much more political and shy. It worries about serious social issues. Livia seems like the kind of woman that gets by on her looks, and she's okay with that. She much more out-going but not as opinionated. These two woman end up having an affair. I say affair because Livia is married to Donci (Peter Andoria).
That is what the movie is about on the surface. But it is the little details I left out that make up the sum total of what the film is really about.
"Another Way' takes place in 1958, two years after the revolution. Hungary is now a country that wants change. The future, some hope, will be bright but there is uncertainty in the air. After so many fought and died during those 12 days starting on October 23rd, what is in store for Hungary? How should people remember those events? Will Hungarians allow the government to continue to censor them?
These are all important question which the film not only ask us, but the characters ask themselves these very questions? "Another Way" is much more about politics then sex.
Now I said the title of the newspaper, 'The Truth' was an ironic title, that is because they're are people who work for the paper who want to make sure no mention of '56 is ever made. If it is never mentioned, and life simply seems to move on as if the revolution never happened, if enough times passes people may forget what they fought for. They will come to accpet the status quo because, what else can it be compared to? One character even says "there's a limit to the truth that can be uttered."
You are probably asking yourself at this point, well, if this film is really about Hungary and its politics, how the heck does a lesbian love story fit into all of this? My guess is this has to do with the oppression all people must face. These two women cannot show their love in public, they are censored by society, just as the reporters are censored. The government tells people what is acceptable and not acceptable on all fronts, including love. There is a scene when the two women are caught kissing on a park bench, the police call and take Eva away and threaten to tell Livia's husband about her activities.
Director Karoly Makk is not one of the great Hungarian filmmakers in my opinion. He is primarily known for two films, "Macskajatek (Cat's Play)" and "Szerelem (Love)". "Szerelem" in my opinion is his best. A sentimental, thought-provoking look at communism in Hungary. But "Another Way" touched me just as much as that film did. Why? I can't explain. I don't simply want to write it off as saying I liked it just because I'm Hungarian. That's not it. The story somehow manages to sweep us in. We care about the characters. The politics are interesting.
The film was also met with some critical acclaim. It was nominated for several awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Makk's "Szerelem" was also nominated for awards at Cannes) including the top prize, the Golden Palm and even won one award for Jankowska's acting.
There are some technical problems with the film. The two lead characters and the Erdos character all have their lines dubbed. Jankowska and Szapolowska are not Hungarian. They are Polish, so I guess that explains why this was done. The lip synching is off pretty much all the time, but, it is not annoying. If you don't understand Hungarian chances are you'll be looking down at the subtitles anyway and won't notice their lips much.
In the end though, despite whatever your reasons may be, I think people should watch this film. It is very powerful and has lots to say about a government which wants to tell society what to think and shows the will of a people who would not accept that.
Bottom-line: Effective sexual/political film by Makk dealing with the aftermath of the '56 revolution. Strong performances and a good script make the film worth watching."