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Archive for the ‘Film Curia’ Category

Szörffilm Catches a Wave

Sub-zero temperatures, impending snow storms, and winter holidays: what better time to have a peek into the lives of surfers in Hungary. OK, outside of the wave machines at Palintus and Gellért pools, there is no surfing in landlocked Hungary.  But be sure, there are Hungarian surfers. The 2014 documentary Sörffilm – ‘created by’ Károly Spáh and Milán Bernáth, and surfers Peiman Lotfi, András Ajtai, and Dávid Liptay,  follows three young Hungarian surf enthusiasts as they travel the world looking to ride the ‘barrel’ the term for that sweet spot where a wave folds over itself, creating a tube the surfer shoots through. From England to Indonesia, the optimistic young crew endures injury, parental derision, and money troubles in their quest. It’s a short, pleasing documentary, and  just the right temperature for a frigid winter’s day.

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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All the world loves a list. We particularly love lists when Budapest is featured on them. Here, from Bored Panda, the favorite website of time-wasters and procrastinators, we find a list where Budapest gets not one, but two mentions. No surprise for us, it’s a list of the most beautiful movie theaters in the world, where we can claim both the third and sixth spot, with the Urania National Theater, and the Puskin Theater respectively.

https://ppmhungary.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/urania3.jpg?w=500

In fairness to the Urania, it is actually the first theater on Panda’s list that doesn’t feature novelty seating (first place sees beds used as seats, second place, cars). We wrote some on the Urania in an earlier post, so we hope you don’t mind if we quote ourselves: “The history of Hungarian film is almost as old as film itself. Since Adolf Zukor Michael Curtis, and William Fox left Hungary to help build studios and make classic movies in California, the country has remained a fertile ground for innovators and trail-blazers on the international film scene. It is only fitting that one of the grandest, most elegant movie theaters on the planet is situated in the heart of Budapest.

https://ppmhungary.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/urania2.jpg?w=500

The Urania stands as a functioning monument to the great artistic achievements of film and a tribute to audiences who still like to enjoy cinema in a proper movie theater. The structure housing the Urania was constructed in the 1880s. Its original purpose was actually not film related: nickelodeons had yet to even debut at that point in history. The Urania was what is known as an ‘Orpheum’, which is a kind of cabaret/dance hall. Right before the turn of the century, it was refitted to be a movie theater, in order to first host a Hungarian Scientific Society’s presentation, and then later to accommodate the rush of interest in this new crowd-pleasing medium.” Currently, it is the theater of choice for film festivals and movie premiers.

The Pushkin is smaller than the Urania, but still elegant and painstakingly preserved. When it opened in 1926, it was then the largest cinema in Europe. Though it has passed hands many times, the splendor of the main theater has been kept intact, with the original gilded ornamentation of sculpture Sándor Kristián having created a regal, majestic atmosphere for film-goers. Perhaps the attention to the opulent ornamentation is due to the fact that the Pushkin was originally a casino before being converted. Like the Urania, it bucks the trend towards blockbuster films, and serves primarily as an art-house cinema for Hungarian and foreign films alike.

pushkin

So stop by Budapest; it’s a film lovers’ city, for those who make them but also for those who just enjoy them. Here you will find two of the most beautiful cinemas in the world. We know, because lists don’t lie.

pushkin2

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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Watching this short film, a travelogue shot in the 1930s in Budapest, one realizes the truth behind the cliché the more things change, the more they stay the same. The video could have easily been shot today but for the black and white film and the dress of the city’s denizens. Here we are, almost a century later, and if you walk around town you can still see most of the primary sites featured in this pre-World War Two film: Gresham Palace (now a Four Seasons Hotel), Parliament, the Chain Bridge, the Széchenyi Bath House, and the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy – all unchanged but for some rehabilitation.

The Screen Traveler: Gay and Beautiful Budapest was shot from the innocent lens of the 1930s. Created by American travel film-maker Andre De La Varre, the clip does capture a few peculiarities that we are not likely to see again: a pond front and center of Heroes’ Square, an all-white uniformed officer directing traffic like a human traffic light, and Vaci Street without a single McDonald’s or Starbucks.

In this film you can really see why Budapest is the go-to backdrop for historical films and period pieces, including Bel Ami, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Evita, as it is at once dynamic yet unchanging. So take a trip back in time with this unique film travelogue. We’ll meet you in 1930.

 

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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First, we offer a mea culpa. We try to stay ‘on message’ regarding film culture in and around Hungary, but these stereo slides found on the blog of Budapest’s premier photo exhibition space – Mai Manó Hungarian Photography House – are too cool not to pass along. According to anerdsworld.com, these photos were actually taken by  a soldier in the French army during their World War I tour. Anersworld.com also did us all the favor or doing the 3-D rendering of the Verascope slides, turning the stereoscope pictures into GIFs. So, scroll down and enjoy this fascinating slice of history. And if you missed last week’s stunning display of stereo pictures from early 19th century Japan, keep scrolling down, or have a look here.

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003.gifFotó: Temetés

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(source: Mai Manó photography house blog via anerdsword.com)

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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VIA: The Plain Dealer/Landov/Barcroft Media

VIA: The Plain Dealer/Landov/Barcroft Media

It’s been a long time since Sharon Stone flashed her talent on the screen in 1992’s Basic Instinct, but the film remains fixed in the popular imagination as an example of devilishly subversive post-noir. Its massive commercial success not only established its female lead as an icon, but also made its screenwriter – Joe Eszterhaz – the most sought after screenwriter in Hollywood. But of course Joe is just an abbreviation for József – and Eszterhaz derives from the House of Esterházy, one of Hungary’s oldest of aristocratic dynasties, the same family from which springs Hungarian novelist  Péter Esterházy .

Long before he went on to pen the films that would pull in a staggering billion dollars in revenue, baby József could be found living in the sleepy Hungarian village Csákánydoroszló. But this was 1944 when Hungary was in the midst of World War Two. His parents emigrated – first to New York City, and then to a Hungarian enclave in Cleveland, Ohio. After completing his studies, Eszterhaz’s first proper job was working as a reporter for the newspaper the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a position he lost by refusing to promote the paper on a solo transatlantic boat trip. His first screenplay to be produced was the somewhat overlooked drama F.I.S.T, starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by Norman Jewison. From there he went on to pen films that would typify the 80’s aesthetic of highly sexualized thrillers: Jagged Edge, Jade, Betrayed, Sliver, and, of course, Basic Instinct.

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Though a few flops slowed Eszterhaz’s output of produced films, he remains one of the most prolific and all-time bankable screenwriters in the history of Hollywood. Recently, his gaze has turned back to Hungary, his country of birth. The wonderful story of the 1956 Hungarian Olympic water polo team Children of Glory, was – though filmed in Hungarian – based on his screenplay, and released in 2006.

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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Once and a while a video showcasing the beauty and romance of Budapest comes along that is too irresistible not to share. But this one is truly rare: A colorized travel clip from 1938. This is – of course – interwar Budapest, and things were about to change dramatically for the country and city. But as much as they changed, and will continue to change, it is amazing just what has stayed the same. Keep an eye out for gorgeous shots of Parliament, Pest’s shopping boulevards, mineral water spas, the Chain Bridge, the Hotel Gellért and its arificial wave contraption, and the views of the Danube.

Now which was your favorite part? Ours was definitely the whole thing.

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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It’s one thing for us to tell you how great a place Budapest is as a location. But when you hear it unsolicited from one of the biggest stars on the planet, it means just a little bit more.

Dwayne Johnson, better known as “The Rock” of World Wide Wrestling, film and TV fame, has been spending quite some time in Hungary as of late. The star of films such as G.I Joe, The Scorpion King, and Fast and Furious 6, recently finished shooting director Bret Ratner’s take on the Hercules myth. Hercules: The Thracian Wars was shot in Budapest at the Origo Film Group lot using mostly local crews and talent. Lately, The Rock has been taking to social media in praise of the work done on the intricate sets needed to recreate ancient Greece.

via Dwayne Johnson/ Twitter

via Dwayne Johnson/ Twitter

Of the recreated Athenian amphitheater Rock tweeted, “Amazing to walk on set today. Detail in design incredible.”

Of an earlier set he wrote, “The most amazing set I’ve ever stepped foot on. Honored to play this role.”

via Dwayne Johnson/ Instagram

via Dwayne Johnson/ Instagram

Much of what The Rock is so impressed with is down to the hard work of Hungarian art director Bence Erdeyi and his crew of diligent, detail-minded craftsmen. Erdeyi’s star is rising with a spate of recent high-profile jobs on films like Die Hard V, Season of the Witch, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the Robin Hood miniseries.

The Rock also passes the praise around to the crew: “6am. Just wrapped a long night of shooting. THANK U to our hard workin’ film crew. A pleasure droppin’ sweat w ya.”

Rock even gives a shout out to the extras: “THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”

via Themovieweb.com

via Themovieweb.com

But The Rock has been singing the praises of Budapest for a while now. Upon arrival here is what he tweeted: “A pleasure being in Budapest…Beautiful city & people. Months of training for the role. Lets shoot.. HERCULES.”

It is fair to say that The Rock is a generous guy with his praise and gratitude, and his Hungarian team gave him a lot to feel good about.

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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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