István Szabó (Budapest, 1938) had Hollywood at his feet when ‘Mephisto’ won the Oscar in non-English language in 1981. He was able to live on a salary from his studies, but preferred to stay in Europe and explore the historical conflicts of the Old Continent in dramas like ‘Sweet Emma, dear Böbe’, ‘Colonel Redl’ and ‘Sunshine’. His latest film stars Klaus Maria Brandauer, unforgettable Baron Blixen from ‘Out of Africa’, with whom Szabó has worked on ‘Mephisto’, ‘Coronel Redl’ and ‘Hanussen (The Fortune Teller)’.
The actor plays a renowned cardiologist who leaves his job in Budapest and returns to his hometown on the banks of the Danube to work as a family doctor, just like his father did years ago. There, he will begin to earn the respect of the community until a secret from his past comes to light. ‘The Doctor from Budapest’, whose very existence should be celebrated as being directed by an 83-year-old filmmaker, fuses political consciousness and social criticism of Szabó’s earlier work with a poetic touch in the style of Bergman’s ‘Wild Strawberries’.
Veteran Agnieszka Holland, author of ‘Europe, Europe’ and ‘Conspiracy to kill a priest’, is still active at 72 with a film based on real events, which reconstructs the life of Jan Mikolášek (1889-1973), a herbalist whose remedies became legend in last century Czechoslovakia. A healer who made a lot of money and was envied first by the Nazi authorities and then by the communists. «’Charlatan’ tells the story of his moral rise and fall. Of his constant fight against the darkness within him, “says Holland.
‘Scape Room 2: You’re dying to get out’
Six people locked in a series of ‘escape rooms’ star in this sequel to a successful thriller from a couple of years ago, in which the characters try to survive evil games. The foundations of the formula were laid by ‘Cube’ by Vincenzo Natali in 1997, long before birthday parties copied the idea.