Márta Mészáros: The Last Report on Anna

The latest film of Márta Mészáros, The Last Report on Anna, fits perfectly into the oeuvre of the Kossuth Prize winning director, bringing to the screen yet another woman’s fate. Following on from her famous Diary Trilogy and her film about Imre Nagy, Márta Mészáros still seeks her protagonists in twentieth century Hungarian history. In this film we gain insight into the life of Anna Kéthly, who according to the director is little known, despite being a multifaceted and fascinating woman, and a mesmerising character.
The Last Report, however, is not just a historical film. The film’s focal point is not Anna Kéthly’s exceptional political career.  We witness the protagonists not only at significant historical moments, but also in their private lives. Thus the director has put great emphasis on human fate, on presenting the private sphere and the day-to-day life of the era. The clash of love and creed, of everyday betrayals and exceptional fidelity play a crucial part in the story. The thrill of an adventurous life-path and the gripping emotional richness of a love story are essential elements of this film.

Director: Márta Mészáros
Screenplay: Éva Pataki, Márta Mészáros
D.O.P.: Novák Emil
Writer’s Consultant: András Szekér
Consultant: Miklós Jancsó
Music: Ferenc Kovács
Editor: Zsuzsa Csákány
Sound: István Sipos
Art Director: Tamás Banovich
Costume: Katalin Jancsó 
Make-up: Magdolna Márta
Stills: Miklós  Gáspár
Production Manager: Krisztina Bene
Line Producer: Erika Tarr
Producer: Pál Sándor
Produced by: Hunnia Filmstudio

Cast: Enikő Eszenyi, Ernő Fekete, Adél Kováts, György Cserhalmi, Gabriella Hámori, Zsuzsa Czinkóczi, Gábor Máté, Básti Juli, Seress Zoltán, Beata Fudalej, Tibor Gáspár, Frigyes Hollósi, Jákob Ladányi

2009, Hungarian feature film, colour, 35 mm

          


 

Csaba Szekeres, John Oates: Vortex

We stand in front of a shabby building. She thought this building would be sufficient reason for the court of guardians not to take away her children, and I thought that this building would be the ultimate reason for putting all six children into care.

   

Csaba Szekeres, John Oates: Three Children Three Futures

"I’ll tear your nails off!” This is what a four-year-old kid furiously said to its brother of 17 when the older one wouldn’t let him throw his school books about.

   

András György Dési & Gábor Móray: The Last Picture

The owners of two little shops – the boyish Photographer and the mature Hairdresser spend every night one secret hour together: they are having fun by making up weird stories.

   

Mihály Schwechtje: Praline

The subject of this film is a common problem of our time, loneliness, presented in the story of a mature woman and a ten-year-old boy.

   

Árpád Sopsits: Exitium (Rhythm V) – The Sounds of Destruction

The film is a vision: a composer is watching and listening to archive films about different forms of destruction, which inspire him to compose his music.

   

Árpád Sopsits: The Seventh Circle

This film is about the despair deeply hidden in children’s soul, and about the ever increasing, ever more brutal and unintelligible destruction of ourselves and each other. We are conditioned and comfortable to think that our children are innocent, though evil also lurks in a child’s soul and as children are vulnerable and easy to manipulate they can become victims (as in certain sects and Satanism).

   

Tamás Zilahy: Solar Eclipse

Time passes as usal.
By-the-way it passes well, all too well.
There’s a heatwave, but eventually it’s getting dark.
Finally everything will be clear.

On a hot summer day a young boy and a girl are teasing each other in a villa at Lake Balaton.
While they are taking shower together, a middle-aged man, still in good shape, arrives unnoticed, and starts to terrorize the two young people. His evil plan is to force them to look into the sun under the solar eclipse blinding them while they make love.

   

András Jeles: Parallel Death Patterns

The film shows two different situations of life, and chains of events tackled on the same level.

   

Géza Bereményi: Literature

A 20 year old writer, an upcoming literary talent spends his days sitting at his typewriter, feverishly searching for a topic for his novel.  All of a sudden it comes to him: he should write about an undercover spy in Budapest.

   

Anna Faur: Girls

The film’s story is based on a crime committed in Hungary: two teenage girls killed a taxi driver.

   

József Pacskovszky: True Death

Based on István Örkény’s short novel

The short novel of István Örkény is not just about death, rather about life. About the advantages another person’s death might bring for different people. What sort of twists the soul, character and morals go through – when someone’s passing away is possibly resulting in huge advantages for the living.


   

András Szőke: Railroad Junkies

Four good old friends – all of them railroad men till the democratic transition – have become victims of the cut-downs. Many years pass, and when even the railroad station has been taken apart, the former stationmaster of the village Honos, Dezső Béke (József Szarvas) gets a notification from town to go to the central office.

   

Pál Sándor: Noah’s Ark

A block of flats in Budapest – Noah’s Ark. An old man, Ede Stock (Dezső Garas) raising his grandchild all by himself. A friendship – of many decades – with Aurél Tálas (Ferenc Kállai) who hasn’t stepped out of the house for 15 years. And a TV show where the country’s best grandpa can win 5 million forints.

   

János Szász: Opium – Diary of a Mad Woman

Hungary 1913. The story of the writer and doctor, Josef Brenner (Ulrich Thomsen) is a Faust-story of our times. Brenner works as a doctor in a mental clinic of the early last century. He has suffered a writing crisis for months; he is unable to put down even a single line on paper, and meanwhile becomes a morphine addict. One day he gets a new patient, the 28-year-old Gizella (Kirsti Stuboe). The mad woman, however, keeps writing all the time, she is addicted to her own diary, and is unable to put down her pen. The young woman increasingly gets obsessed with the compulsion to have been taken over by an alien and cruel power. Brenner becomes jelous of the woman.

   

But Who Are Those Lumnitzer Sisters?

The two protagonists of the film, Olivér and Ficskó, are committed gastronomy critics passionately striving for the honor and outstanding quality of cookery. They keep lashing the bunglers and hawkers of the industry. The annoyed restaurant owners vow vengeance against them.

   

Minus

There is a block-house somewhere in a Hungarian town, where the heating was cut off on the first of January due to the residents debts. For eight days nothing happens, everyone tries to survive the cold somehow. One day the city council`s officers visit the block, but they cannot promise anything. The father has a quarrel with his wife, and goes out for a walk. A crazy idea comes to his mind. After returning home he breaks the Christmas tree and sets a fire in the children’s room.

   

See You in Space!

Pacskovszky’s recent film is a kind of continuation in the flow of his previous works, Our Love and The Color of Happiness. The series of stories taking place between the stars and the Earth is presented in a powerful and colorful visual world. Is it a lyric, a grotesque or an ironic film? Well, it is a bit of all of these, to the same extent our world is...

   

Doll No. 639

A lonely man lives a comfortable life between his workplace and his cosy apartment. Until strange incidents derail the routine. The story is set in the future that could be the past too.

   

Rhythm

This film is an attempt to tell standard narrative stories deploying only legs.

   

Heads Off!

The film is set in the Middle Ages, but this shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There is a country ruled by an Emperor who is a bit nutty. This is nothing surprising, because nearly everyone is actually a little cookie.

   

Sticky Matters

The story itself is quite simple, it is the characters that are important. There is a woman whom love has worn down, a boy who is in love with her - but this feeling is so overwhelmingly strong that he is ready to change his whole personality for the fulfillment of such love. The boy has a very close friend who has to decide whether he is gay or if he just likes his friend too much.

   

Moscow Square

April 27, 1989 – Petya’s eighteenth birthday. Moscow Square’s big clock signals 8.30 p.m. and youngsters are standing around under the clock waiting to find out the addresses of parties. In Kigler’s hand, a bottle of Russian champaigne pops, Petya takes a sip and the bubbles fizz up his nose, Royal jeers at him viciously… Csömör has got hold of the addresses, the party night can start. They go up to the top of Szabadsag Hill, then over to the Castle, they go from party to party across the city. At dawn, the kids return to Moscow Square to eat hamburgers, then buzz off home.

   

A Cloud Above the River Ganges

Juli and András get acquainted on a Budapest street in a lonely and bitter moment of their lives. A time when both badly need someone. András, a brilliant computer programmer, has been a drug addict for years. After several failing attempt to become clean, he decides to commit suicide at the beginning of the story. Juli is an actress just starting out, who has been struggling in a hopeless relationship.

   

Chico

This is an adventure film. One could say an ideological adventure, but with “real” adventures, revolutions and wars spanning countries and continents. A great journey – a race for belief and identity. Our hero is half Hungarian, half Spaniard; half catholic and half Jewish; born in Latin America and brought up as a convinced communist.

   

The Miraculous Journey of Kornél Esti

In 1933, Kornél Esti, the renowned writer sets out by train on a reading tour in Germany. Sensing sinister signs, he recollects his first journey to the sea in 1903.

   

The Outpost

In a meeting, Gizella Weisz’s boss tells her that due to her good performance and a study tour in France, she has been awarded a position in the Outpost. She has to leave immediately with her escort. They travel by jeep, train and bus, then continue on foot on mountain paths. On their way, Gizi finds herself deprived of all trappings of civilization.

   

We Never Die

Tordai, the actor, is always there at the horse-races, and he loses again this time. Suddenly, he recollects his teenage memories of the sixties, when he won an awful lot of money with his uncle Gyuszi. It was his uncle, an itinerant clothes-hanger seller who first took him along to the horse-races, and they traveled together from market to market in the country-side.

   

The Midas Touch

1945 – The Market at Teleki Square. Monori, the bigshot of the market, re-opens his business. His motto is: the one who has gold has everything. And he does have gold. His daughter, Marika, returns from Vienna and gives birth to a baby boy. For a handful of jewelry, Monori pays off his son-in-law to disappeare, and, with his wife, he takes care of his grandson.

   

Miss Arizona

Budapest, 1919. A special unit of right-wing extremists kills a wealthy Jewish jeweler for a cache of diamonds. His wife, Mitzi, a singer and her young son escape with the help of Rozsnyai, a musician. They flee to Italy. Traveling around the country, they sing and dance.

   

Whooping Cough

In the last week of October 1956, Tomi and Annamari are happy not to have to go to school. Their dad too, comes home earlier from work, and tells them excitedly that he has slapped a colleague of his in the face. Grandma manages to get a loaf of bread, which gets hit by two bullets on the way home, but at least they have something to eat. Except for their ever leftist grandma, the family is at a loss about the revolution. In coded messages on the phone, they brief their relatives in the U.S. of the events.

   

Daniel Takes a Train

December 1956. Sixteen-year-old Daniel is heading to the border to follow his sweetheart who is about to leave for America. His companion, Gyuri Angeli is seeking to escape because of his participation in the fighting during the uprising.

   

Salomon & Stock Show

Salomon and Stock have performed their double act in the cabaret for years. In a pair of three-legged-trousers they sing the song “You Won’t Make It Alone”. One day Salomon unexpectedly replaces Stock with a young girl dancer.

   

Narcissus and Psyche

The film is a romantic vision of love, of the reckless search for one’s identity and for new experiences – a vision of unfulfilled passion, of desire and human integrity. The story of Psyche, Erzsébet Lónyay and Narcissus, László Ungvárnémeti Tóth, drifts over the historic period of hundred years between 1813 and 1914, during which the protagonists do not grow a second older. In the battle between history and the soul, a tortured, loving and destructive third character, Baron Zedlitz, appears.

   

Little Valentino

László Sz. is a twenty-year-old truck guard. One day he changes his mind and, for the first time in his life, he does not post the money officially entrusted to him. He fails to show up for work, generally hangs around and squanders the money, spending it on things he otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford from his salary.

   

Budapest Tales

Through the revival and adventurous journey of an old street car wreck, the allegoric pictures of thirty years of post-war Budapest history are revealed. A few people lingering on the Danube river bank find the wreck of an overturned street car.

   

My Father’s Happy Years

Like a fairy tale: A boy recollects his memories of his father, his family, and of “those happy years” following the Second World War. After the siege, people are able to come out of the cellars. Török, the pharmacist, happily plays the Symphony in G-minor with the factory orchestra.

   

On the Side-Line

The elderly and lonely Ivicz, once an excellent baker, now reduced to delivering bread, is a referee of third league soccer games in the countryside at the weekends. He is the rigid and incorruptible boss on the pitch.

   

A Strange Role

1919 – after the defeat of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, in a sanatorium somewhere in the mountains. Disguised as a woman, János Kövesi, a wanted communist, seeks escape in the Sanatorium Wallach, where he applies for the job of nurse.

   

Mrs. Déry, Where Are You?

The film tells the story of three days at the climax of the career of Mrs. Déry, an aging actress. She looks into the mirror in the twilight of the theater hallway: she possesses the ultimate knowledge of her profession, but time has also caused her beauty to fade.

   

Football of the Good Old Days

Recalling the style of silent films, Football of the Good Old Days is set in Pest in the Twenties. Ede Minarik, the owner of a tiny laundry, “badly needs a team”.

   

Clown on the Wall

Three teenage boys find shelter from the rain in an empty house at Lake Balaton. Unexpectedly, the owners return, but only two of the boys are able two escape. Kiki gets stuck in the larder.

   

The Corporal and the Others

In the last days of World War II, a Hungarian army corporal, Molnár, deserts along with his battalion’s pay hidden in grenades. He finds refuge in an old castle with other deserters, also hiding there. Albert, the “noble” butler of Baron Drexler takes care of them.

   

Germinal

The story is set in a little, 19th Century town in the South of France. Etienne Lantier and his workmates toil 12 hours a day for a pittance in Maheu’s group.

   

Two Half-Times in Hell

In a POW camp, somewhere in the Ukraine, the prisoners are presented with a great opportunity: on the occasion of Hitler’s birthday they are challenged to play for their lives against a German soccer team. The Germans appoint Ónodi II, the former soccer star, as the POWs’ coach.

   

The House Under the Rocks

A tormented soul, Ferenc Kós, returns home from the Soviet Union, where he has been imprisoned as a POW. He tries to start a new life in his house by Lake Balaton.