By Liza Béar
"1945" Opens at Film Forum, New York, November 1--Not to be missed! Once in a while an independent film hits the screens that totally galvanizes you by its sheer filmmaking craft and its insights into human nature.
WATCH THE FILMMAKER INTERVIEWS HERE
Simply titled, 1945, this highly original psychological thriller, superb in every respect: script, directing, ensemble acting, b&w camerawork, musicand of course the overpowering sense of menace and (false) suspicion) created throughout the film. Such a complex & intimate portrait of immediate postwar peasant psychology, such nuanced and sophisticated storytelling about an important subject is award-winning Hungarian director Ferenc Torok's sixth feature.
It's based on The Homecoming, a short story by noted writer Gabor T. Szanyo. WWII has ended. The arrival of two Orthodox Jews, father and son, by train throws the inhabitants of a nearby Hungarian village into a maelstrom of fear, suspicion and havoc as they prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. As time allowed, I spoke to Ferenc and Gabor last week about aspects of the original story, the development of the film, and characters with a bad conscience, [note; the interview took place in the Green Room's mirrored clothes closet at JCC].
1945 Film Credits: Writer-director: Ferenc Torok; screenplay Gabor T. Szanto & Torok; director of photography: Elemer Ragalyi; editor: Bela Barsi; music: Tibor Szenzo; production design: Lazlo Rajk.
So in order to best cover all bases, progressive film critics tend to consider three categories of assessment, rather than two: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first two are self-explanatory. And the third category is reserved for movies that may have been impressively put together, but there's just something offensively anti-humanistic about them.