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Archive for September, 2011

Yoda – the semi-cuddly, lizardly Jedi Master of the Star Wars series, is famous for his wisdom, delivered in his own peculiar speech pattern, which has been dubbed ‘Yodaese’ by his more avid fans. There are Internet forums dedicated to speculating on the origins of Yoda’s unique syntax. Amateur linguists have taken his speech apart, studied it, and deemed it a valid language unto itself. There is even a nifty little Yoda speech generator for those with time to waste. But the word on the street in Hungary is that Yoda actually uses Hungarian syntax translated into English. If the story is to be taken as truth, it goes like this: George Lucas (Lukas?) wanted to give Yoda a more exotic sound to his speech, so he had a Hungarian technician working on The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars II) set translate Yoda’s lines into Hungarian, then back into English, retaining the Hungarian syntax. Thus “I will go” becomes “Go, I will” with the stress of the important information coming at the beginning of the sentence, as it does in Hungarian.

Here are some examples of Yodaese:

“If into the security recordings you go, only pain you will find.”

“Confer on you, the level of Jedi Knight, the Council does.”

“Good relations with the Wookies, I have.”

The theory seems to hold up, though the use of suffixes and prefixes in an agglutinative language like Hungarian makes such strict translations difficult, and therefore, makes the theory difficult to prove. If you have any information as to whether or not Yoda actually speaks in Hungarian syntax, or if this is just another urban legend, please comment. Until you prove us wrong, believe we will.

In the meantime, enjoy a snippet of Yoda, in all his little green, Hungarian wisdom.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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Twentieth Century Fried. That’s what the goliath film studio would have been called had Vilmos Fried decided to keep his original name, instead of anglicizing his mother’s maiden name of Fuchs. An immigrant from Tolcsva, Hungary, Fox’s mother arrived in the United Stated in the late 19th Century to look for a better life for herself and her baby boy.

As a young man, William Fox made multiple forays into business before becoming fascinated with the nickelodeon – a progenitor to modern film projectors. He sold his textile company to buy a nickelodeon theater in Brooklyn in 1904. By 1914 Fox had founded his own film studio, Fox Film Corporation, and quickly rose to prominence as a producer of crowd-pleasing silent films. Ever hungry for more business, Fox began buying movie theaters. For a time, Fox owned a large west coast chain called Fox West Coast Theaters, which, at its apex, had over 300 theaters. Under his leadership, larger screens were installed to give the viewer a more spectacular experience. Movie-goers also saw the introduction of news reels before film presentations; a foray that would foreshadow modern-day Fox News. Fox’s empire was only set to grow when he attempted to purchase MGM studios, though the deal was annulled by US courts because it was deemed a monopoly.

As a producer, Fox oversaw almost three hundred films, starring the likes of Lousie Brooks and Tom Mix. Fox’s studio utilized the latest in sound technology to produce the first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer. At the peak of his career, Fox was, along with Louis Mayer, one of the titans of early Hollywood. In his own words: “No second of every 24 hours passes but that the name of William Fox is on the screen in some part of the world.”

Fox’s later career was beset by tragedy. His greatest star, Will Rodgers, was killed in a plane crash, and many on his studio’s roster of talent, including Spencer Tracy, were dropped from the studio due to substance abuse problems. Fox himself was almost killed in an auto accident. While he was recuperating, the country was hit by the Great Depression. His empire was further diminished by a court finding that forced him to sell his theater chain. To avoid bankruptcy, Fox merged with Twentieth Century Pictures. While fighting an anti-trust suit brought by the US government, Fox was caught trying to bribe a judge, and spent six months in jail, after which he retired from film-making. Today, the Fox name lives on in Fox Broadcasting, one of the four primary US television broadcasting stations; and in 20th Century Fox studios, which is responsible for blockbusters from Star Wars to Titanic.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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Five Great Small Wine-Makers from Around Hungary

If you shop for wine in England or the United States, you might have discovered just how few Hungarian wines are available. What you are likely to find are mass-produced Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) or prohibitively expensive Tokaj dessert wines. The scarcity of Hungarian wine on foreign shelves is not due to poor quality, it more reflects the culture of wine-making, which largely originates from family-owned vineyards. This means a small to medium yield of product: enough for local drinkers, but not enough to build a brand abroad. But, if you happen to be in Hungary on a shoot and want to try some of the more offbeat vineyards that are favorites with local insiders, do not despair. Below is a list of five great small to mid-size Hungarian wine-makers.

Luka: Luka stands out as one of the few female-run vineyards in Hungary. Enikő Luka, who is as easy on the eyes as her wine is on the palate, presides over this small vineyard near Sopron, which lies just east of the Austrian border. Luka does well with the same full-bodied flavorful reds that also brought the Burgenland region fame. Try their Zweigelt or Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch). Check out the Luka site here (in Hungarian).

Malatinszky: Csaba Malatinszky ruffled feathers when he arrived in the staid Villány region with his daring blends and modern winery. His wines are known to be as dashing and eccentric as the winemaker himself. Malatinszky likes to break rules, and his products display his ability to pull off risks. Try the Cabernoir, one of our favorite Hungarian mid-priced bottles. Malatinszky reposts wine-related news from around Hungary in English on his site, which can be found here.

Orsolya: A new craft winery from the Eger region that has become a favorite with local purveyors. Like many Eger vineyards, they do both reds and whites well. We especially like the traditional Eger Leányka (Maidon of Eger) and the adventurous red blends like the recently released Tehéntánc (Cow Dance). Run by a husband and wife team, you can taste the care they put into every bottle. Explore their site here (in Hungarian, though there is a Google translation option).

St. Andrea: This family-run winery has a huge following with expatriates who live in Budapest. It recently won the Winemaker of the Year title here in Hungary, so St. Andrea’s star is rising. Known for their strong reds – particularly their takes on the traditional Bull’s Blood blend – the winery also excels at Pinot Noir. Their white blend called Napbor (Sun Wine) tastes like a summer day in the countryside. If you want a spectacular high-end red for under 50 dollars, try the Merengő (Daydreamer). St. Andrea’s site can be read in English here.

Pannonhalma Apátsági: If a wine comes from a monastery, you can be pretty assured of its quality. Though this Saint Benedictine monastery was established over a thousand years ago, their wine-making business is a spry 100 years old. Situated in the famous Badacsony wine region that lies above Lake Balaton in central Hungary, the lava-rich soil makes for excellent white wines that are full of mineral and tang. Pannonhalma’s are among the area’s best. Try their Rajnai Rizling (Rhine Riesling) and check out the lively web-site in English here.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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