September 7, 2006
by Boyd van Hoeij
Shot and edited in a combination of cinéma verité and MTV-style music videos, the film is a highly energetic piece (exciting scenes include a point-of-view shot from a bungee jumper) that will likely appeal to youngsters all over Europe. The tale is set in Budapest but could take place in any major European city and features nameless protagonists.
Reminiscent of the off-the-cuff shooting style of Russian arthouse hit The Stroll (though with many more cuts), the film is not only a style exercise but is also filled to the brim with deadpan humour. At a folk dancing event, the boy (Krisztián Kovács) corners a religious girl, whom he tries to impress by telling her that his favourite film is Jesus Christ Superstar. "Mine is The Gospel According to Matthew," she says, to which he replies: "Mine too! My three favourites are The Gospel, Jesus Christ Superstar and Deep Throat".
In an early scene, the protagonist is told by a friend that he should take girls more seriously: "Find an intelligent girl and talk to her about Heidegger," he scoffs. Not much later the boy seems to have at least partially taken his friend's advice: he is now chasing girls at the local museum instead of at music festivals or in bars.
Simultaneously, the film also tells the story of the boy's attempt at a more serious relationship with the girl (Orsolya Tóth, winner of the Hungarian Film Week’s Best Actress Award for this film and Mundruczó’s Johanna), which seems doomed from the beginning and lends the proceedings greater emotional resonance.
The film was released last Thursday in Hungary by Budapest Film on five screens and has played to packed houses, according to the director.