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Born: Vác, Hungary, 27 September 1921.

Miklos Jancsó (JPG, 12 KB)

Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó gained international recognition in the late 1960s, when The Round-Up (1966), The Red and the White (1967) and The Confrontation (1969) garnered numerous awards at a variety of international film festivals. Displaying evidence of a developing revolutionary vision and uniquely formalistic cinematic style, these films not only established Jancsó's reputation as an auteur, but also helped to serve notice to the world that Hungarian filmmaking had entered into a dynamic new era.

Jancsó's world-wide acclaim reached its peak with Red Psalm (1972), for which he was named best director at the Cannes Film Festival. Red Psalm stands as perhaps the most coherent expression of the director's desire to combine a revolutionary form of filmic language with the theme of the moral complexities of social revolution. Although he would receive a lifetime achievement award at Cannes in 1979, Jancsó's more recent films, such as The Dawn (1986) and Season of Monsters (1987), have not found the widespread approval granted to his films of the 60s and early 70s. His films are now criticized as experiments in purely abstract formalism, devoid of social relevance and lacking in human compassion. Ultimately, his most enduring contribution to cinema may well be the role he played during the 60s in liberating Hungarian filmmaking from the formal and thematic constraints of state-sanctioned realism.


Basement Films Archive: The Round-Up
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This page was last updated on 7 August 2000.