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 Post subject: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Location: Cheltenham, England
Currently showing on Second Run's Coming Soon page.

Quote:
Confrontation (Fényes szelek)
A film by Miklós Jancsó
Hungary, 1968


Paralleling the dramatic student protests and riots that were exploding across the world in the 1960s at the time the film was made, The Confrontation is a story of protest and rebellion in 1947 Hungary when the Communist Party have just taken power.
Jancsó's first colour film is another virtuoso display by a director at the peak of his powers, and eloquently explores the complex issues and inherent problems of revolutionary democracy.

1968 Cannes Film Festival - In Competition

"The fascination of the film lies in the mastery with which Jancsó can give concrete form, on both literal and symbolic levels, to apparently abstract conflicts"
Rosalind Delmar, Monthly Film Bulletin

"Those who have never seen a film by Miklos Jancso from the 1960s, when this Hungarian director was at his peak, are usually astonished by the experience"
Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

Release date: 2013


Last edited by antnield on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Yes, this is the hitherto mysterious Jancsó title that was the fifth and final entry in Second Run's five-film Hungarian package that they licensed back in 2010 (the others being Apa, Confidence, Red Psalm and Szindbád). I think I first dropped hints about it over a year ago, but I've been honour-bound not to identify it explicitly.

It was a pretty easy choice - quite aside from its sudden topicality (since it's about student protests), I can't imagine anyone seriously disagreeing with the notion that it's Jancsó's most important film between The Red and the White and Red Psalm.

As far as I'm aware its only other DVD release anywhere in the world is a non-anamorphic and unsubtitled Hungarian disc that came out several years ago. This new version should be a definite improvement - aside from being English-friendly, it will also be sourced from the recent Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchívum restoration.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Let's hope, though, that it isn't the last time they decide to license Hungarian (and Jancso) films. There's still a lot of rocks needed to be overturned.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:32 pm 
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knives wrote:
Let's hope, though, that it isn't the last time they decide to license Hungarian (and Jancso) films. There's still a lot of rocks needed to be overturned.

The availability of decent masters is, as ever, the usual hurdle - and I understand restorations have slowed to a virtual halt as a result of the current crisis engulfing the Hungarian film industry (and Hungarian politics in general). More surprisingly, the same seems to be true of the Czech Republic, whose ambitious 200-film restoration project is presently stalled at number three - something tells me that the original target of 2015 is going to be missed by miles.

Hence Second Run's recent return to Poland, which after years of producing notoriously terrible masters has really got its act together - every Polish film festival I go to these days seems to feature several more restorations.

(I'm aware of at least five Polish titles that are being prepped for Second Run releases over the next few months...)


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:45 am 
wax on; wax off
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For cinema tourists out there, of all Jancso's films prior to the recent slew of 'comedies', this one is perhaps the easiest location to visit. Pretty much the whole thing was shot in and around Veszprem castle (city of Veszprem...and yes, in Veszprem County), a locale that has changed little. I used to live about 20 minute drive from there. Nice town.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
Haven't bought anything from Second Run in quite a while but Confidence, Man of the Story, Casa de Lava (finally), and now this have them back on my radar in a big way. Been hankering for some "new" Jancso. Excellent lineup.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:42 am 
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Location: Cheltenham, England
Release date: January 28th


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:38 am 
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I've just been granted a sneak preview.

Final verdict when I've watched the whole thing, but it's certainly shaping up to be the best presentation of a 1960s/70s Jancsó title yet seen on any video format - the anamorphic picture (full 2.35:1 OAR, naturally) is damn near pristine, and an obvious advance on my old letterboxed Hungarian DVD. The reds in particular are as punchy as was presumably intended: much of the time the other colours look deliberately muted in order to make them stand out.

And I'm not exactly gutted about finally being able to ditch my homemade subtitles that were Google-translated from Portuguese fansubs that I found online.

Naturally, I'm sorry that it isn't a Blu-ray, as Jancsó's widescreen masterpieces really demand the extra detail (I've been lucky enough to see The Confrontation in 35mm), but I completely understand the current economics - the fact that no-one has seen fit to give Jancsó the Blu-ray treatment anywhere in the world is revealing enough in itself. In fact, has Jancsó even been mastered to HD?

Incidentally, the title on the menu and the final artwork is The Confrontation (Fényes szelek) - i.e. with the definite article that I think it's always had in English (it's not a literal translation: the original title means something like 'Bright Winds').

Image

UPDATE: I've posted screengrabs here.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Full details of this release are now up at our website


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:24 pm
The best Jancso film available on DVD other than, arguably, Red Psalm and Elektra. His mid-period colour films are by far his most stunning work. So glad to see this come out!


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:46 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
An incisive review from idFilm


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Cinematic Investigations.


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
SubtitledOnline


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:45 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Michael Brooke at MovieMail


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:48 am 
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Beaver


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 Post subject: Re: Confrontation
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Close-Up Film


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:51 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Digital Fix


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Fantastic film, looking marvellous in Second Run's transfer.

After all those historical films that find careful analogues for aspects of the Communist regime, it's bracing to see Jancso confront it head on. He's still operating at an allegorical level, however, with the internecine squabbles compressed and isolated within a student cell (and expressed with a lot of ritualistic movement), but the big picture is unmistakable.

The allegory is also powerful in the way it playfully suppresses certain home truths that nobody in the audience can so easily overlook, and its relationship to the surrounding works is crucial in this regard, as those (historically abstracted) films make the subtextual brutality explicit (as do the not-at-all casual references in this film to the Holocaust). So in The Confrontation, we have a curiously, sinisterly weightless revolution, in which piles of books are ransacked from a library and piled in a courtyard, but we're reassured they won't be burned; counter-revolutionaries are rounded up and forced to wear identifying emblems, but we're reassured they won't be harmed; and out-of-favour leaders are excommunicated from the Party, but we're reassured they won't be executed. Time, not to mention all the other Jancso films, tells us that the world doesn't work this way, but the film, filled to the brim with rousing songs and dances, chillingly pretends that we don't all know about the pile of bodies just off-screen.

It's a very effective evisceration of recent Hungarian history, but it's also (coincidentally?) a prescient portrait of the incipient factionalism and ultimate paralysis of 1968, in which an initial focus on solidarity and communication rapidly dissolves into internal power struggles.

Jancso's mature style is present and correct, though a lot of the sequence shots in this film are intimate and claustrophobic rather than epic. And this may be the only musical that has more songs than it does shots!


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:21 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Thanks zedz. We're really delighted that so many people have reacted so strongly and positively to this remarkable film.


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:44 pm 
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And here's hoping that Graham Petrie's mouth-watering trawl through all those unavailable Jancso films (now I'm keen to see even the ones I'd always assumed were weaker) in the booklet is stealth marketing for future releases!


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
Michael Brooke's review in the latest Sight & Sound


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
So sad to hear today of the passing of the great Hungarian filmmaker Miklós Jancsó.

Hungarian cinema's most renowned filmmaker and a profound influence on filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Béla Tarr, Jancsó was one of cinema's greatest visionaries, a giant of world cinema. The films made by Miklós Jancsó such as My Way Home (Így jöttem, 1964), The Round-Up (Szegénylegények, 1965), The Red and the White (Csillagosok, katonák, 1967), Silence and Cry (Csend és kiáltás, 1968) The Confrontation (Fényes szelek, 1968) and Red Psalm (Még kér a nép, 1971) - for which was awarded the Best Director prize in Cannes 1972 - were at the forefront of the revival of Hungarian cinema, while the starkness of his themes and a distinctive visual style made Jancsó himself one of the most controversial and widely discussed of contemporary directors.


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:02 pm 
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He did a very entertaining Q&A in London a few years ago after the Second Run-organised screening of The Round-Up (Qs by MichaelB). Any chance of more Jancsó releases coming from you guys, Bikey?


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:13 pm 
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otis wrote:
He did a very entertaining Q&A in London a few years ago after the Second Run-organised screening of The Round-Up (Qs by MichaelB).

Qs by Tony Rayns, in fact - and supernaturally good interpretation by László Heckenast, which to this day remains the smoothest bit of live translation that I've ever seen in any context. You hardly noticed he was there, and yet he was by far the hardest-working man on stage.

The thing I most remember about it was that Jancsó seemed to be just revving up when the Curzon Mayfair threw us out - he gave the impression that he could easily have gone on for hours, and I'm sure we'd have been only too happy to have let him if it had been up to us.


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 Post subject: Re: The Confrontation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Wow, my memory is playing tricks - I could have sworn it was you. (I know you've got significantly more hair than Tony Rayns!) I do remember leaving the Curzon and seeing Jancsó outside surrounded by a bevy of admiring females, at least one of whom was about a quarter of his age. I like to think he did go on for hours...


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