Visual/Media Arts
January 21, 2022
If you're worn out from re-running Netflix programs while pining for new seasons to drop, consider heading over to Lincoln Center Film's "Marta Meszaros" film festival January 21 - 26.

The two decade retrospective of Meszaros' groundbreaking films tap into the alienating era bridging Europe's devastation after World War II with the sinister Iron Curtain epoch.

Meszaros' cool camera is masterfully observant of individuals, drawing into faces yet retaining a distance. Called a feminist filmmaker, she's more of a realistic auteur. A clear-eyed filmmaker, Meszaros sharply foregrounds the politics and social mores of the 1950's and 60's.

The loosely autobiographical black and white film Diary for my Children follows a young woman Julie (Zsuzsa Czinkotizi) sent to Hungary to live with a family friend, Magda (Anna Polony), who holds a high level position in the Communist Party. 

Despite Magda's desire to educate and raise Julie, teenage defiance reigns in a country where everyone obeys the rules. In this universe, women might rise in the ranks within a political system, but men grip the ultimate power.

Entranced by the movies, she wants to disappear in the make-believe of film and escape the reality of a world that left her without a mother or father. Shot through with interpersonal tension, the camera lingers on the desolate city exteriors, and faces partially stripped of emotions. Fluid camerwork, always on the move, magnifies the sense of instability.

Experimental and probing, Marta Meszaros' films will leave their imprints on you.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celila Ipiotis

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