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Red Colibri

The first feature helmed by the daughter of director Livia Gyarmathy (who co-produced her offspring's pic) and writer Geza Boszormenyi, "Red Colibri" starts off promisingly as a romantic thriller -- something of a rarity on the Hungarian film scene -- but soon loses direction and credibility. This Italian co-production, though it shows Zsuzsa Boszormenyi's promise as a director, needs a tighter, more credible screenplay to succeed.

The first feature helmed by the daughter of director Livia Gyarmathy (who co-produced her offspring’s pic) and writer Geza Boszormenyi, “Red Colibri” starts off promisingly as a romantic thriller — something of a rarity on the Hungarian film scene — but soon loses direction and credibility. This Italian co-production, though it shows Zsuzsa Boszormenyi’s promise as a director, needs a tighter, more credible screenplay to succeed.

Anna, played by Italo thesp Barbara De Rossi, who is well dubbed into Hungarian, is separated from her husband and is bringing up her 8-year-old daughter. She works as a taxi driver, and one day witnesses an armed robbery at a gas station. The robbers turn out to be refugees from the Ukraine, and she helps one of them, the handsome young Andrei (Branislav Tesanovic) escape.

It seems Andrei is a ballet dancer who hopes to find work in Budapest. Anna lets him stay with her, and they soon become lovers, while he finds a job at a seedy strip club, the Red Colibri (colibri is a kind of bird), which is run by fellow Ukrainians. Anna becomes involved with the strippers who work at the club , too, as well as with the gangster who runs the place, though here the script starts to get murky, and, by the time of the film’s non-climax, Anna’s actions have become inexplicable.

As a director, Boszormenyi shows a good sense of style and pacing, but the screenplay seriously lets her down, rendering the film an intriguing oddity as a rarelook at Budapest low-life. Tech credits are fine.

Red Colibri

(HUNGARIAN-ITALIAN)

  • Production: A Cinema Filmrendezo Alapitvany (Buadpest)/Vidi srl (Rome) co-production, with the participation of Hungarian Film Development, Hungarian Television, RAI. Produced by Livia Gyarmathy, Pasquale Squittieri. Directed by Zsuzsa Boszormenyi. Screenplay, Geza and Zsuzsa Boszormenyi, Squittieri, Andor Szilagyi.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Alfio Contini; editor, Anna Kornis; music, Manuel De Sica, Gabor Presser; production design, Zsolt Juhasz Buday; costume design, Marta Janoskuti; sound (Dolby), Peter Kardos, Gyorgy Kovacs, Roberto Lalli; assistant directors, Judit Biro, Gabriella Antall. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 7, 1995. Running time: 100 MIN.
  • With: Anna Fabian ... Barbara De Rossi Andrei ...Branislav Tesanovic With: Remo Girone, Andor Lukats, Gabriella Kulcsar.
  • Music By: