Még kér a nép | Red Psalm
DIRECTOR: Miklós Jancsó | WRITER: Gyula Hernádi | CAST: Andrea Ajtony,András Ambrus, Lajos Balázsovits, István Bujtor, András Bálint, Gyöngyi Bürös, Tamás Cseh, Erzsi Cserhalmi,György Cserhalmi, Mari Csomós, László Csurka, Andrea Drahota, Lajos Farkas, Lajos Fazekas, Gáspár Ferdinándy Hungary
I’ve watched Még kér a nép several times now and I keep wavering about just how great I think it is. My initial confused reaction about the squareness of the picture — it’s shot in “Academy ratio” (1.37:1) rather than the ultra-wide 2.35:1 of his earlier films — went away when I realized that what Jancsó has done is jettison the wide-screen deep focus of Szegénylegények and Csillagosok, katonák (and Így jöttem and Csend és kiáltás) for the zoom lens. There’s still all the extraordinary choreography of the actors and the camera, but the emphasis here is on horizontal movements while the camera changes focus in and out. It’s really extraordinary. I just can’t figure out if the hymns to proletarian brotherhood and communism and Death to the landlords and priests! is sincere or subversively overdone to the point of ludicrousness. I’m having a hard time writing anything at all about the film so I’ll cop out for now and refer anyone who’s interested to Michael Brooke’s review/article on the film in his excellent Kinoblog.