Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Electra My Love|
Actors: Mari Töröcsik, György Cserhalmi, József Madaras, Mária Bajcsay, Lajos Balázsovits
Director: Miklós Jancsó
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Facets Multimedia Release Date: 05/30/2003
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A Greek tragedy set to Hungarian dance -- on the plains
E. Holmes | Seattle, WA USA | 11/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best known films by the Hungarian director, Miklas Jansco. This is not a 'film' in the traditional sense of the word. It seemed more like a choreographed musical with the stage being an endless plain. The cinematography is beautiful -- deep colors and sweeping vistas. It does have a plot, but keep in mind that this is really a tragic greek play set to a choreographed Hungarian dance and the film is rather obviously a metaphor for life under communist rule. For example, one of the lines early on is "Lies pollute all like the plague". And the response of the king, is a paraphrase of the line I heard a number of times when in East Germany and the Czechoslovakia in the 1980s: "A lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth".
The plot is entertaining. This paragraph is going to summarize the whole plot, so technically it's a spoiler, but seriously I wouldn't watch this movie for the plot; I'd watch it for the artistry. Electra's father, let's call him A1 since I can't recall his name, was a bad king and a weak king. A2, his brother and Electra's uncle, kills him and takes over. A2 is a tyrant and keeps the populace in check with a combination of fear and placation. Electra has been grieving her father's murder for the last 15 years. She speaks crazy things like freedom and justice are more important than peace and food. She is widely regarded as mad -- although she looks mostly like an over-serious 1970s feminist. She is waiting for her brother (played by Gyorgy Cserhalmi) to come back, and kill A2 and avenge A1's death. While waiting for him, she admonishes the people that they accept tyranny for peace and accept lies in exchange for full bellies. The people predictably put their hands over their ears during this sanctimonious lecture. Anyhow, her brother does show up, and Electra kills him. Conveniently for her, he comes back to life. Her brother then kills A2 and his lackey. Elektra is now happy. Elektra and her brother then kill each other, and then they come back to life. They do this a few times. Finally, they fly off in a red helicopter. I'm not making this up. On kinoeye.org, you can find a nice review of Miklas Jancso's films and this one is discussed there also.
Personally, I thought this was a really interesting film. The dances set on the plains were beautiful and I liked the Hungarian folk music that played throughout. That said, this is an *Art Film*. It's really not like anything you'd normally pick up in Blockbuster, and only those into impressionistic and creative film would want to see this."
Greek Tragedy - Magyar Style!
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 12/26/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Miklos Jancso's 1975 nominee for the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival, "Electra My Love (AKA Szerelmem, Electra)" is quite a hard film to digest. And I'm sure you'll see an even split among those "for" the film and those "against" it.
Jancso's started something of a new wave in Hungarian cinema and is perhaps best known for the film "The Red and the White" as well as "The Round-Up".
He is very interested in making films which have a political statement. And shoots his films by experimenting with camera movement (usually there is very little), editing and sound design.
The basic plot of "Electra" is we are seeing a reenactment of an event which happened 15 years ago. Electra's (Mari Torocsik) father was killed, and to this very day seeks revenge.
It seems the reenactment has become something of a ritual, it is done every year and everyone knows his or her part.
But sometimes facts are played around with. For example was Electra's brother, Oresztesz (Gyorgy Cserhalmi) murdered or did he just disappear and did he simply die? The answer to that question keeps changing.
Meanwhile this story is done done mostly to music and large choreography. A man walks around with a guitar singing.
This lead me to wonder, where in history is this story taking place? I mean what year are we in? Is this modern times or a historical setting?
Still if you can find yourself getting past what's on the surface and trying to find a deeper meaning to the images Jancso is showing us, I think many people may find the film actually does have message.
That message may be up for interpretation. What I came away with was a message about Hungary's history and the surpression of Communist party. This all comes together in the final moments of the film when Electra gives a voice-over about a firebird.
Now of course I can see both sides to the agrument on this film. It would be very easy for someone to dismiss it and say the film is boring, nothing ever happens. The film just has the characters talk and talk and there's no action. It's pretentious.
But, if you are willing to challenge yourself and look for the deeper meaning "Electra My Love" will not be a waste of time. Also, if you enjoy this film look for "Hungarian Rhapsody", "The Red and the White" and "The Round-Up".
Bottom-line: Greek tragedy done with a little goulash flavor. Filmmaker Jancso's film has a political undertone to it and makes a comment about Communist. Challenging film which may try some audience member's patience. If you can sit through it, you'll find something to enjoy."