Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Second Run have recently released Márta Mészáros' Diary for My Children (Napló gyermekeimnek, 1982) on DVD. Even better, the rest of the trilogy (Diary for My Loves, 1987 and Diary for My Father and Mother, 1990) will follow, so we'll all be able to ditch the VHS's from the C4 screenings all those years ago!
In the meantime there's a special screening of Diary for My Children at the Renoir Cinema on Sunday 22nd November at 2.15, at which I'll be interviewing the uncredited co-writer, and director in her own right, Éva Pataki.
It's a wonderful, semi-autobiographical film about the teenage Juli, returning to Hungary in 1947, having spent the war exiled to the USSR, where her parents died. It perfectly captures the contradictions of post-war Budapest (as I imagine!): the freedoms of western-type fashion shows and the impositions of the regime; moments of personal joy and grating bureaucratic idiocy, and memories and strange dream sequences set against quotidian banalities. All seen through the eyes of Juli, growing to be a woman, discovering love and developing the cinephilia that will lead her to film school.
Zsuzsa Czinkóczi's fantastically touching performance captures Juli's frustration at the lies, dissembling and surreal paranoias that surround her. She carefully balances the solemn and melancholic retreat into memories of pre-war happiness with the steeling of Juli's resolve to counter what she sees around her. Exactly as Mészáros herself does in the film.
You can read more about the film, on Second Run's website, here
Here's the Renoir cinema page, with details of the event.