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Monday, 5 November 2007

Tibor Banoczki "Holtágban" (Dead Water)

Tibor Banoczki left the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts in 2001. Holtágban was his graduation movie . I'm surprised it is not better known because it is marvellous. In the movie an ex-train driver reflects on his career and how he seems to have been derailed to some grim backwater where he works the signals for two trains only each day. He is both angry at his situation and nostalgic for the great days on the railway. In fact the great days may not have been so very good after all as there do seem to have been a lot of suicides. The narrator suffered thirteen of them. The subtitles enable you to keep up with the story though the voice of Gyorgy Cserhalmi is most expressive, demonstrating the whole gamut of emotions from a wistful nostalgia to burning anger at his situation. The drawings of countryside, home and railway are rendered with the brush of a master. The impressionistic, watercolour paintings that form the animation are simply sumptuous. In another director's hands this might have been lush and romantic; in Tibor's movie often there is a brutal realism. There is a mystery here: why was the narrator's carriage the only one to survive a major crash and what is his appalling secret? Tibor's latest 2007 movie has a trailer available - Milk Teeth. It won the the Jury's Special Award at the Annecy International Animation Festival for 2007. Tibor has graduated from the UK's National Film and Television School.

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