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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Who'd make a film about underground ticket inspectors?

Another underground movie

Well after
Creep Ralf - The Cartoonist led me to another fairly weird film from Budapest set on the underground - this time it's not the London Underground though.

Here's a quick summary. Kontroll is about a strange young man, Bulcs�, his mates and a rival group of ticket inspectors on an underground system somewhere in the world. Bulcs� began, but immediately abandoned, a promising career and is now looking for himself in another environment where rules are simple and clear: if you want to go for a ride you have to buy a ticket. The inspectors do their job, inspect tickets.

This sci-fi film looks at the dramatic and sometimes comic relationship between travellers and inspectors.

There's also a strange character who appears from time to time and whose favourite pastime is to annoy the inspectors so after some excitement they can chase him along corridors, platforms, escalators and down tunnels. The lead also falls in love with a train driver's daughter who enjoys riding the underground day in day out.

The trailer looks interesting, the film won quite a few awards, and the BBC website said:

"Going Underground has never been as vivid and intriguing as it is in Kontroll, a Hungarian black comedy cum killer thriller set in the Budapest subway system. Its anti-hero is Bulsc� (S�ndor Cs�nyi), one of a group of oddball ticket inspectors who've got more than fare dodgers to worry about: there's a hooded nutter in their midst shoving passengers onto the tracks. Smoothly switching gears between the surreal and the everyday, this is as unpredictable as the Northern Line but offers a much more memorable ride.."

I'll see if I can get hold of the DVD - which fortunately has English subtitles as my Hungarian's a bit ropey. Shame I missed it when it was on at the ICA last October - D'OH.


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