Laszlo Kovacs, Vilmos Zsigmund, and the Hungarian Revolution
August 8, 2006 6:49 AM   Subscribe

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. A key documentary artifact of the uprising is Magyarország lángokban (Hungary in Flames) [embedded .wmv], partly composed of footage shot by two young film school students using whatever equipment they could find. Narrowly avoiding capture by the Communists, the duo smuggled 10,000 feet of film out of the country in spare tires and potato sacks; there's much more to the story, but better to hear Vilmos tell it in his own words. [.rm] Eventually, they made their way to America, where László Kovács, ASC (Five Easy Pieces, Ghost Busters, more) and Vilmos Zsigmund, ASC (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deliverance, more) became two of the most prolific cinematographers in Hollywood history. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Coral cache of Hungary in Flames. In Magyarul, unfortunately not subtitled. It's primarily a newsreel documentary, and the first twenty minutes or so is archival footage about Hungarian history. But the scenes of Russian tanks rolling through Budapest, of ordinary citizens taking up arms in the streets, and the closing montage, are quite moving.

In case a particular word or phrase strikes your fancy, here's a very good Hungarian dictionary, as well as the Alternative Hungarian Dictionary. (The latter may be NSFW.)

Further audio interviews with Vilmos Zsigmund on a wide range of topics.
posted by milquetoast at 6:50 AM on August 8, 2006

Thanks for the post, Milquetoast. I just began reading a history of Hungary so these links shall come in handy.
posted by Atreides at 8:29 AM on August 8, 2006

What good timing! I just watched the DVD of Deliverance for the first time (I'd seen a crappy old VHS copy years ago and never knew just how great the cinematography was) and was so struck by the photography I've been wanted to do some research on the the DP - and here I have it! Thanks very much for the post!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:12 AM on August 8, 2006

Bush Sees Parallels: 1956 Hungary and 2006 Iraq, NPR, June 22, 2006.

All's well that ends well, or do we need to come clean about failed illusions?
posted by cenoxo at 9:15 AM on August 8, 2006

Wow, thanks for these links.
posted by blucevalo at 9:15 AM on August 8, 2006

milquetoast, you've answered my prayers! Now I can figure out what the future monst... umm, mother in law is saying about me.
posted by at 11:12 AM on August 8, 2006

Nice post!
posted by shoepal at 11:31 AM on August 8, 2006

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