Bird saviour and other releases
by Fabien Lemercier
27/11/2006 - From being DoP to director, Hungarian István Szaladják covered all bases with his debut feature The Bird Saviour, Clouds and Wind [trailer] (Madárszabadító, felho, szél), released last week in Hungarian cinemas through Budapest Film.
Filmed in Russian and set in an undefined period (even if it does resemble the second half of the 19th century), the film relates an encounter between a young peasant (Danyiil Oszipov) on his way to meet a summer love and a strange man (Armenian painter Robert Ovakimjan), who is a cross between a pilgrim, homeless person and spiritual fanatic. They discuss life, death and the meaning of sacrifice, opening the younger man’s eyes to a whole new world.
Written by the young director – who was DoP on Szabolcs Hajdu’s Tamara and Tibor Szemzo’s Csoma’s Legendry (see article) – the story blends European and Eastern cultures and philosophies. "I grew up in a place where the earth and the sky meet," explains Szaladják. "In this space, loneliness – which is not the same as isolation – leads to stupefying revelations. I have always been attracted by simple things: the sky, the earth, trees, man."
Produced by András Muhi for Inforg Studio and Filmteam Kft. – two outfits that had already teamed up for Roland Vranik’s Black Brush (2005 Best Hungarian Film) – The Bird Saviour, Clouds and Wind premiered during Hungarian Film Week in February.
Other new releases include Hungarian comedy Idegölo by Fonyó Gergely (distribution HungariCom), Spanish titleTake My Eyes [trailer] by Icíar Bollaín (Másképp Alapítvány), Italian film Sacred Heart by Ferzan Ozpetek (SPI International), while last week’s releases included Sztornó by Hungarian director György Pálos (Hungarotop).
Children of Glory [trailer] by Krisztina Goda (see news) has become the most seen local title of 2006 with over €1m at the box office while true cinephiles flocked to see György Pálfi’s Taxidermia [trailer] (€20,000 in ten days, dist. Hungaratop).
Other high-grossing titles were French/Danish animated film Asterix and the Vikings [trailer] by directing duo Stefan Fjeldmark and Jesper Moller (€165,000), Pedro Almodovar’s Volver [trailer, film focus] (€126,000, see Focus), while How Much Do You Love Me? by French helmer Bertrand Blier and Crime Novel [trailer, film focus] (see Focus) by Italy’s Michele Placido registered more modest results.
(Translated from French)