Though its potential for originality fades after the first half-hour, "Kythera" reps a respectable sophomore feature by Peter Meszaros. The script contrasts a young woman's circumscribed life with visions of an escape to a color-saturated fantasy. Problems lie with side characters, either sparsely drawn or too caricatured. Fests may offer further ports of call.

Though its potential for originality fades after the first half-hour, “Kythera” reps a respectable sophomore feature by Peter Meszaros, whose short “After Rain” won the 2002 Cannes Palme d’Or. Inspired by 18th-century rococo artist Antoine Watteau’s painting, “Embarkation for Cythera,” and its voyage of pleasurable promise, the script contrasts a young woman’s circumscribed life with visions of an escape to a color-saturated fantasy. Problems lie with side characters, either sparsely drawn or too caricatured. Fests may offer further ports of call.

Csilla (Kata Kovacs) shares her bed with b.f. Bandi (Andras Erno Toth), a slob who cares more for soccer and beer than her happiness. (Upstairs, in the same apartment building, sisters Viki (Nikolett Krajcsi) and Dorka (Petronella Toth) aren’t happy, but at least have passion in their lives.) A brochure for a Greek island sparks in Csilla the idea of journeys to other worlds, both interior and geographical, though she lacks the courage to trust her dreams. Meszaros starts with huge close-ups, nicely moderating between richly hued vignettes reminiscent of Gotham director Jack Smith and the gray dullness of Csilla’s everyday life, but overdoes Bandi’s boorishness.

Kythera

Hungary

Production

A Mediawave 2000 production. (International sales: Profil-M 94, Budapest.) Produced by Gyorgy Durst. Directed, written by Peter Meszaros.

Crew

Camera (color), Gabor Marosi; editor, Judit Czako; music, Eszter Salamon; production designers, Marosi, Zsombor Dyga; costume designer, Salamon, Fruzsina Nagy. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Film Festival, Nov. 23, 2006. (Also in Locarno, Sarajevo film festivals.) Running time: 76 MIN.

With

Kata Kovacs, Andras Erno Toth, Nikolett Krajcsi, Petronella Toth.
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