The two faces of Zsolt Nagy
by Boyd van Hoeij
09/02/2010 - Former Hungarian Shooting Star Zsolt Nagy starred in two very different films that premiered in this year’s Hungarian Film Week: the contemporary comedy-drama Team Building and the historical film Colorado Kid [trailer].
The first fiction feature from director András Vágvölgyi B, Colorado Kid, finally premiered over two years after it finished shooting, as it lingered in post-production because of financial reasons.
The €1m film tells the story of Bela Kreuzer (Nagy), who actively participated in the thwarted 1956 uprising in Budapest against the Soviets (also the subject of such recent Hungarian films such as Children of Glory [trailer] and Mansfeld). Some years later, he is arrested for what he supposes is his tendency to help the outcome of his betting and gambling habits, though it turns out this is connected to his activities in 1956.
The director, who says he was inspired by films such as The Third Man, adds a reporter of the London Evening Mail, Noel Free (Michael Kelly), to the mix as an outsider observing the events as he drives around in his vintage car wearing a dark fedora.
The charismatic Nagy very much carries the picture, even if it fails to completely come together at the end. Seen its tight budget of around €1m, production values for the period piece are strong. Colorado Kid was produced by Cameofilm, in co-production with UK partner Parallel Pictures.
Nagy also heads up the cast of Reka Almasi’s Team Building, which looks at a team of managers of all shapes and sizes who are holed up in a hotel in the countryside for a weekend of team building exercises under the leadership of British guru George (Alexis Latham).
Nagy plays a stubborn young man who doesn’t believe in George’s methods, and who is an old friend of Peter (Peter Nagy, also a former Shooting Star but no relation of Zsolt), the man hired to film all the events that happen over the weekend.
Though on the surface it speaks about the human insecurities and failings of its diverse group of characters, there is a thinly veiled critique of the politics of the post-Communist country just under the surface.