Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2013

Photo by Tony Shek

Photo by Tony Shek

If the Golden Globe Awards are any indication, the political thriller Argo will go home with a handful of awards at tonight’s Oscars. What possible connection could this have to Hungary, you may ask. Was Budapest used as a double for Tehran? No, this time the star is the middle name of the actor/producer/director, Ben Affleck, or Ben ‘Géza’ Affleck. Though he may be of distinctly Irish/English/German descent, Affleck bears a classic Hungarian middle name. ‘Géza’ was bestowed on him by his father, in honor of a friend of the family, who was also a Hungarian Holocaust survivor. An ancient name, its origins are hard to trace. Some believe Géza was a title of honor conferred by the Turks, while others contest that there is no Turkish connection, and it is pure Magyar. Either way, Géza has been used as a boys’ name for centuries here in Hungary.

While Géza Affleck, er, we mean, Ben Affleck, will be by far the most famous person to bear the name, there were a number of renown men throughout history who were also named Géza. Other famous Gézas include the violinist Géza Szilvay, the biblical scholar Géza Verme, and Géza Csáth, author of Opium and Other Stories.

According the site first-names-meanings.com, men bearing the name Géza, like “to be noticed and admired, to be the centre of attention and to be in charge; such are the desires of this rather self-important individual,” and “likes occupations requiring imagination or sensitivity.”  In thinking of a writer/actor/director, the name Géza may have more influence than the fairly bland, non-attention-seeking name ‘Ben.’

On a side note: Affleck may have an historical connection to Hungary, but it was his wife, Jennifer Garner, who actually spoke Hungarian, in the TV series Alias. She did a good job, but we want to teach her yet one more phrase: “Jó szerencsét,” which means ‘good luck,’ as in, ‘good luck tonight, Ben Géza Affleck’

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.

Read Full Post »

As last week’s statistics prove, American football is bigger than ever. The ‘world’ championship (even though it is only played by American teams) Super Bowl contest drew a record 108,000,000 viewers. American football is very popular. As such, it is not surprising to learn that there have been than a few Hungarians who have made a living tossing around the pigskin. But we are here to tell you that two of the most legendary names in the game, Joe Namath and Don Shula – both of Hungarian decent – played against each other in one of the epic American football matches of all time.

superbowl11

The Players: ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath is an American Hall of Fame quarterback, who spent most of his career with the New York Jets. The name Namath is a permutation of the name Német, which means ‘German’ in the Hungarian language. Namath’s grandfather was an immigrant from Hungary, who spent his life working in the gritty Pittsburgh steel mills. The younger Namath was so talented at American sports that he was actually offered a career in baseball before he decided to settle on football. He is one of the most winning QB’s of all time and was named one of the top 100 footballers of all time by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Don Shula: Like Namath, Shula’s parents were Hungarians who found a new life in the Midwest of the United States. As a player, Shula had a brief, unspectacular career, playing for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins in defensive positions. It wasn’t until he started coaching that he came into his own. Ultimately, Shula found his way to the head coach job with the Miami Dolphins, where he coached the team to the only unbeaten season and post season in NFL history.

football2

The Game: 1969’s Super Bowl III is actually the first championship to bear the name ‘Super Bowl’. Sula’s Colts were heavily favored to win. Perhaps it was prophetic, but a young, cocky (and drunk) Namath was quoted as bragging to the press, “We’re going to win the game. I guarantee it.” It was also very bold, as the Colts were favored to win by 18 points. The result would be lopsided, but in favor of Namath’s Jets, who won 16 to 7. Football enthusiasts consider Super Bowl III to be the first real Super Bowl, and of great historical significance to the game. It was certainly significant to Hungarian Americans, though there was no way they could lose with Shula versus Namath.

Below find some highlights from the game, including a very artistic (Hungarian?) moustache on Joe Namath.

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.

Read Full Post »

One of Dehli's grand buildings

One of New Delhi’s grand buildings

For a small country, Hungarians make their presence on this planet widely known. For instance, when I did a Google search for ‘bagels’ in my hometown, the first result I came up with was the Hungarian Kosher Bakery; I have stumbled upon Hungarian speakers in New York City, Paris, and Prague; and if rumor is to be believed, there is Hungarian restaurant in Beijing. And then consider the Balassi Institute in New Delhi, India. Here we have a state-sponsored cultural center dedicated to teaching interested parties of this populous Asian country the Hungarian language and hosting events that are Hungarian-centric.

According to the Balassi Institute’s excellent site, which can be found here, the Indian/Hungarian connection stretches back long before the establishment of the Institute. In fact, Hungarian explorers reached India in the 18th century. More curiously, János Honigberger – a doctor from Transylvania, was court doctor to Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh

The Balassi Institute in New Delhi organizes around 150 events annually, promoting Hungarian art, music, culture, by bringing in renown Hungarian artists from Europe to participate. The birthdays of major figures in Hungarian cultural history are celebrated in India, hence, if you happen to stop by on the right evening, you are likely to hear the poetry of József Attila (perhaps in Hindi translation), or the music of Béla Bartók. The center also does its best to sponsor events of Indian artists, past and present, who have some tangential connection to Hungary. A library stocked with several thousand volumes on Hungary’s culture, language, and history is there for Indian translators to utilize.

Oh, and as of late, India has been spicing up Hungary, in the form of a few Bollywood stars who came to shoot a spot for Hero MotoCorp. It is no secret that PPM Hungary made its own Budapest/India connection in facilitating the complicated shoot that was filled with stunning locations and complicated action sequences. Let’s hope this is only the latest endeavor in the ongoing co-operation between these two very different but friendly nations.

Click on the thumbnail below to find out more about the Balassi Institute.

Read Full Post »