Tuesday, April 12, 2005


After a three week hiatus, KBT returns with an energetic cinematic entry from Hungary, set entirely underground in the Budapest Transit System.

Kontroll opens with a man reading a statement to the effect of: The following film is fiction. This is in no way a reflection on how the Budapest subway system operates. Any incidents are unrealated symbols and/or metaphors of the directors story. What follows is a movie that could best be described as Clerks meets Trainspotting through the filter of either Andrei Tarkovsky or David Lynch. It is a look into the world of the denizens that run Budapest underground: a grimy and chaotic system ran with the same sensibility operating in Terry Gilliam's Brazil. You see, the Budapest transit system works on the honour system of buying a ticket to board the trains without gates. The 'kontroll' officers (an ironic job description if there was ever one) are a motely collection street rejects and sad souls, fighting for even the smallest shred of respect from the customers in the system. It seems that nobody actually pays for transit in Budapest or even behaves with any sense of civility. Actually, without the arm-bands the kontroll officers wear to indicate their position, you probably couldn't tell them from the late-night customers or in some cases even the homeless people sleeping in the stations.
The film is a bit of a genre blender. There is a love-story component, a mystery-thriller involving subway jumpers, a day in the life style comedy vignettes and the gradual re-awakening of a lost soul. The joy in the movie is the immersive envorimnent of the underground which is carried off with real verve (courtesy a nifty sountrack from the techno trio, neo). An unusal pace and fantastic cinematography (believe me when I tell you the subway system is as much a character as anyone else) coming to a peak with an full-on Rave on one of the platforms, is invigorating.

Come out Tuesday (April 12) for drinks at 8:15pm, Showtime at 8:30pm


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just stumbled on this site while cruising around. Good stuff. But I'm a little confused: are you actually inviting total strangers to come to your house for screenings?

'Cause that doesn't sound too safe.

10:47 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Actually, its more of a bulletin board for friends and associates who typically attend. I would pretty much have to know somebody (knowing somebody virtual/online is possible depending on the context), before they show up at my door.

12:50 a.m.  

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