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Archive for September, 2014

You can see Budapest by Hop On Hop Off bus. You can see it by boat. You can see it by tram, taxi, and by classic auto. You can even cover much of this glorious city by foot. But you have not seen Budapest until you have seen it by drone.

Lately, a number of drone photos and videos of our great capital (a must-see city according to Conde Nast Traveler, amongst other periodicals) have surfaced (not just surfaced, but risen high in the air!). We have viewed them all, and found one of the best to show off this week. Below, you can find the video that takes you over the main sites of the city in central Buda and Pest, showing the striking panorama of the Danube from above. To the music of Mozart (hey, why not Liszt?) the little drone that could takes off from the seedy, edgy area of Teleki Square, on a sometimes bumpy tour of such landmarks as the Citadella, the Chain Bridge, the Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Gellért Square, and up the funicular to the Buda Castle. It’s quite a ride, and gives a view on Budapest that we are rarely treated to.

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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Some time ago, not long after the conception of this blog, we profiled a few actors who – quite unexpectedly – have Hungarian roots. Who would have guessed Jerry Seinfeld and Goldie Hawn are direct descendants of Hungarians? After much research, we have come up with a trove of other Hollywood screen legends whose parents or grandparents were Hungarian. This list is impressive and long, so for now we will limit our profiles to just a two. But what a pair.

photo by Georges Biard

photo by Georges Biard

Adrien Brody: As noted a few weeks ago, when his mini-series Houdini premiered, Adrien Brody – the Peter O’Toole of our generation – has a Hungarian mother: the celebrated photographer Sylvia Plachy. Though he acted since his teen years, Brody came to the broader public’s attention for roles in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam and Terrence Malick’s Thin Red Line. Brody famously made front-page news with his Best Actor win at the 2004 Oscars for his role in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist. There was also that issue of the acceptance speech kiss. Since then his output has been high and high profile, with roles in Wes Anderson and Woody Allen films. The latest, as mentioned, was Houdini, which brought Brody to Budapest, where the series was shot.

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

Paul Newman: man’s man, leading actor’s leading actor, and perhaps the most legendary actor in the history of Hollywood film. The actor’s grandfather was Simon Newman, and emigrant from Hungary. His parents brought him up in Shaker Heights, Ohio – a place that was a popular hub for Hungarian immigrants (why is that? If you have any guesses, other than the flat, broad farmlands that are so similar to the Hungarian countryside, we would like to know). Newman’s accolades include an Oscar for The Color of Money, along with eight other Academy Award nominations. Films like Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting were perfect vehicles for his suave, rebellious on-screen personae. Philanthropist, auto racer, family man, Newman led a full life before is recent death in 2008. Sadly, he never made a film in Hungary.

Can you think of any more stars or starlets with Hungarian roots? (Zsa Zsa Gabor excluded, please). Leave them in the comments.

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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Rubix_cube_in_colours

Oh how time flies: it seems like only yesterday when the Iron Curtain opened and a strange contraption tumbled out, instantaneously captivating the imaginations and intellects of, well, just about everybody. But it was already 40 years ago this year that Hungarian architecture professor Ernő Rubik introduced the game that – originally called the Magic Cube – would achieve world-wide fame as the Rubik’s Cube.

Initially there was not a lot of interest in the Cube. Rubik himself had to hawk it at game fairs and solve it himself for skeptical spectators who didn’t believe the multi-colored, three dimensional puzzle of a cube was solvable. That’s a far cry from today, with 350, million cubes sold it is said to be the best selling puzzle-game in history. After its 1980’s peak the cube was in danger of being deemed a fad and drifting into nostalgia along with Pac Man and the Macarena. But a dedicated core fan-base of gamers kept the demand for the puzzle alive. The cube is currently experiencing a resurgence of popularity with increasing interest in the Rubik’s Cube World Championship, which saw a revival 2003. The 2013 competition took place in Las Vegas, and attracted 580 competitors from 35 countries. In addition to the sanctioned World Championship, underground competitions have sprung up that are the Rubik’s Cube version of extreme sports. Here we see cubers competing in such categories as Blindfolded Solving; solving the Cube with one person blindfolded and the other person saying what moves to make, known as “Team Blindfold”; Multiple blindfolded solving, or “multi-blind” in which the contestant solves any number of cubes blindfolded in a row; Solving the Cube underwater in a single breath; Solving the Cube using a single hand; Solving the Cube with one’s feet, and Solving the Cube in the fewest possible moves.

source: demotix.com

source: demotix.com

“I made something I found interesting and my idea was, ‘It’s good, and I wanted to share it with other people,’ ” said Rubik, now 70, speaking at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. “I was not thinking about the size of the popularity and that kind of thing. It’s happened because of the cube, not because of me.”

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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la-et-st-adrien-brody-houdini-LATIMES

Source: LA Times

“Iron will made him famous. Genius made him legendary.” That’s the tag-line for the mini-series Houdini, which premiered in England and the US this week. The four-hour film was shot in Budapest, which is fitting, as it is a little-known fact that – though typically identified as American – Harry Houdini was in fact Hungarian. More curious, Adrien Brody, who plays the famous magician, is also at least of partial Hungarian extraction, as his mother is the the Budapest-born photographer Sylvia Plachy.

Houdini himself came into this world in 1874 as Erik Weisz, also born in Budapest. Though he was considered more of a stunt performer, and made his name by performing daring escapes, his craft fell under the umbrella of magic. It was after emigrating to the United States that he was nicknamed ‘Harry’ by friends, who riffed on his Anglicized name He only acquired the name Houdini after falling under the influence of French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. Houdini was initially something of a disappointment as a magician. He tried his hand at card tricks in the sideshows and cheap nickelodeons of New York, but found little success. It was then that he decided to become more novel, and transform himself into an escape artist. His initial feats of escape brought him a small amount of fame on the Vaudville circuit in America, but his really publicity coup came when he was touring Europe, and was challenged to escape from a pair of Scotland Yard handcuffs. He succeeded, and before long, Houdini was being invited to escape from jails and shackles all across Europe. For much of his career, he was one of the highest paid performers in America, eventually supplementing his career with film roles. Houdini died in 1926 of acute appendicitis, aggravated by several blows to the stomach delivered by a skeptical audience member.

houdiniposter

Brody was quoted in the LA Times as saying “I wanted to convey the truth of an illusion, an understanding of the man, the complexity of the motivations behind him, the youthful sincerity he possessed and the cynical exhausted state that he subjected himself to. And make the magic tricks work.” About the location of Budapest, the mini-series producer Gerald W. Abrams said in the New York Post: “ (Budapest) has more turn-of-the-century architecture — that’s the 18th century — than almost any city in Western culture. It’s got a lot of patina.”

We’ll call this return a sort of homecoming for the partially Hungarian actor. It may be just a coincidence, if not ‘magic’.

houdiniBrodyposter

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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