Review: ‘Milky Way’

Mise-en-scene triumphs in "Milky Way," by cult Magyar helmer Benedek Fliegauf.

Mise-en-scene triumphs in “Milky Way,” by cult Magyar helmer Benedek Fliegauf (“Forest,” “Dealer”). Winner of Locarno’s experimental Filmmakers of the Present competition, pic comprises nine beautifully composed, fixed takes of landscapes in which people and objects move within — as well as in and out of — the frame. Self-described “ambient movie” can be appreciated on multiple levels by those who have the patience. Though only for specialist tastes, and not necessarily even by auds who liked Flieghauf’s more narrative-driven “Dealer,” prime fest fare repays close attention. Pic could also work as a gallery installation.

Most of the takes — all sans dialogue — offer a mini-narrative combining surprising, funny, mysterious and poignant elements. For example, fourth seg unfolds in a rippling swimming pool in which two elderly men lean against the side, eyes closed. An elderly woman breaststrokes diagonally into the shot. She bobs against the wall some distance from the men. Soon, one swims over to her and initiates sexual contact. Quickly sated, he returns to his former pose and the woman swims away. Pic’s carefully crafted soundscape (by Beke Tam) is as important as the visuals.

Milky Way

Hungary

Production

An Inforg Studio production, in association with Duna Workshop, Intuit Pictures, M&M Film. (International sales: Inforg, Budapest). Produced by Andras Muhi, Monika Mecs, Erno Mesterhazy. Co-producers, Sandor Soth, Gyorgy Durst. Directed, written by Benedek Fliegauf.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm, widescreen), Gergely Poharnok, Adam Fillenz; editors, Sara Czira, Katalin Meszaros; music/production designer/costume designer, Fliegauf, Raptors' Kollektiva. Reviewed at Locarno Fiilm Festival (Filmmakers of the Present -- competing), Aug. 6, 2007. (Also in Sarajevo Film Festival.) Original title: Tejut. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Peter Balazs, Barbara Balogh, Sandor Balogh, Laszlo Benedek, Jeno Bodrogi, Janos Breckl.
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