As The Films of Márta Mészáros, our retrospective on the feminist and socialist Hungarian filmmaker, comes to a close today we are proud to continue our partnership with Janus Films and premiere two clips from the collection of new restorations.
Dive into Mészáros’s oeuvre on the final day of our retrospective:
– Riddance, 4:30pm
– The Heiresses, 6:30pm
– Diary for My Children, 9:00pm
The Girl (1968)
One of the first Hungarian films directed by a woman, Márta Mészáros’s debut feature is an assured expression of many of her recurring themes: broken families, the relationships between parents and children, and the search for stability in an uncertain world. Erzsi (Kati Kovács), a young woman living in a hostel in Budapest, sets out to reconnect with her birth mother (Teri Horváth)—a quest that leads her to a small town where Erzsi’s modern, urban sensibilities clash with the conservative, provincial attitudes of the woman who brought her into the world but with whom she has little else in common. Laced with the feminist concerns that would become a hallmark of Mészáros’s work, The Girl is a minutely observed portrait of a woman searching for where she came from in order to figure out where she is going. A Janus Films release. New 2K digital restoration undertaken by The Hungarian National Film Fund and approved by director Márta Mészáros.
Don’t Cry, Pretty Girls! (1970)
Infused with the spirit of rock ’n’ roll and rebellion, this music-driven counterculture snapshot unfolds to a near wall-to-wall soundtrack of late 1960s/early 1970s Hungarian psych and folk-rock as it traces the odyssey of a young woman (Jaroslava Schallerová, star of the Czech New Wave classic Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) who, on the eve of her marriage to a factory worker (Márk Zala), experiences a final moment of freedom when she runs away with a touring band. One of Mészáros’s most formally experimental works due to its minimal dialogue and almost proto–music video style, Don’t Cry, Pretty Girls! reflects the cultural sea change sweeping Europe at a time when traditional values were being shaken by a youthquake of individual self-expression. A Janus Films release. New 2K digital restoration undertaken by The Hungarian National Film Fund and approved by director Márta Mészáros.
Read Film Comment’s comprehensive look at Mészáros’s films, which are thickly textured portraits of love affairs, workdays, and friendships between women.