Reviews - What do customers think about Hungarian Cinema: From Coffee House to Multiplex?
reflects the history of Hungary Oct 20, 2006
Cunningham intertwines the history of Hungarian cinema with the history of Hungary itself. The tortured narrative of the Hungarian nation from the 1920s to World War 2 and thence under decades of Soviet rule. Before the war, cinematic output was quite respectable for a nation of its size. With support from the government and intelligensia. But already there were stirrings of nationalism echoed in several films.
After the war, the Soviet influence imposed a necessary conformity. Some nice movies were still made. But usually confined to innocuous topics. The events of 1956 and their impact on film making get a good discussion.
The book devotes a lot of space to the developments after the end of the Cold War. Western European funds were now available for larger budget movies. And several were in fact co-produced with foreign studios. We see a convergence of professionalism and sophistication approaching that of Hollywood. Though of course without the latter's megabudgets.
It should be said that the majority of films and actors mentioned in the book will be unknown to American readers. Few people outside Hungary speak Hungarian, and ultimately, this has restricted the reknown of their cinema.