31 May 2009

The Decade List: Hukkle (2002)

Hukkle - dir. György Pálfi

Along with Lucrecia Martel's La ciénaga, Sébastien Lifshitz's Presque rien and David Gordon Green's George Washington, György Pálfi's Hukkle was certainly one of the most astonishing film debuts of the decade. Following a hiccup in La ronde style, Pálfi captures a rural village in Hungary (animals included) with an alternately twisted and playful sense of humor. Hukkle is a near-perfectly realized experiment; the only quibble I had arose during a brief sequence where Pálfi used noticeable special effects to show an X-ray view of one of the people (everyone else I know who had seen the film didn't seem as bothered as I was). Despite that (likely) singular complaint, it's hard to find anything else wrong with Hukkle, which Pálfi followed (after an omnibus film Jött egy busz... [A Bus Came...]) with the absolutely wonderful Taxidermia in 2006.

Screenplay: György Pálfi
Cinematography: Gergely Pohárnok
Music: Balázs Barna, Samu Gryllus
Country of Origin: Hungary
US Distributor: Shadow Distribution/Home Vision

Premiere: 12 September 2002 (Toronto Film Festival)
US Premiere: 12 October 2002 (Chicago International Film Festival)

Awards: Discovery of the Year (European Film Awards); New Director's Award (San Sebastián Film Festival)

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