Over six days, the audience will be able to enjoy recently restored, popular classics and rarities for a total of 100 of the finest films from global movie history. The goal of Budapest Classics Film Marathon (BKFM) is to position the values of Hungarian film in the focus of domestic and international attention, and present the best of European film heritage to a Hungarian audience. Once again, the highlight of the festival is the transformation of the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica into a free open-air cinema for four evenings.
The main theme of the September festival is the Central European roots of Hollywood. The core of the programme comprises works by artists who, setting out from Budapest and frequently with stop-offs in Vienna and Berlin, made it to Hollywood where they achieved global fame. The lives of those individuals coming from territories that were formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and exporting Central European culture to America were often just as exciting as the works they created.
Sons of Zemplén and founders of Hollywood Adolph Zukor and William Fox, the Oscar-winning director Michael Curtiz aka Mihály Kertész, Vilma Bánky, Béla Lugosi, Miklós Rózsa, Maté Rudolph, Peter Lorre (László Löwenstein), Joe Pasternak, Paul Lukas, the Austrian director legend Billy Wilder who often worked with Hungarians, and Ernst Lubitsch who was of German ancestry and nearly always worked with Hungarians, are just a few of the many names that the audiences at Film Marathon will be able to discover via their top films.
The Budapest, Vienna, Hollywood programme has been organised with the collaboration of the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Austrian Film Museum and Austrian Film Archive.
Film Marathon has selected works to commemorate cinematographer László Kovács, who along with Vilmos Zsigmond was a legendary Hungarian cinematographer of American movies, and who worked on several occasions with the recently deceased director Peter Bogdanovich.
This year, the spotlight is not only on cinematographers but designers, too. Audiences will be able to witness the art of Oscar-winning Sándor Trauner (Alexandre Trauner), who worked in France and Hollywood with directors such as Marcel Carné, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, John Huston, Anatole Litvak, Orson Welles and Luc Besson.
Once again BKFM celebrates several anniversaries in the Hungarian film history section: Ferenc Szécsényi and Sándor Pécsi would have been 100 this year, István Eiben was born 120 years ago, this is the 150th anniversary of Jenő Janovics, pioneer of Hungarian filmmaking, and Pannónia Film Studio was established 65 years ago.
Budapest Classics Film Marathon’s The Open Archives section is back, featuring the latest discoveries from the world’s film archives. The festival will also have student screenings and silent films with live music accompaniment. As is now a tradition, there is also an international film industry programme, the focus of which is film education.
Venues of the 5th Budapest Classics Film Marathon include the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica, Uránia National Film Theatre, Toldi cinema and French Institute in Budapest.
To view the full program, click here.