- The Selection followed by The Witness
November 2 at 1:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall
Two films from Hungary illuminate the workings — and farcical failings — of socialist bureaucracy through a documentary and a picaresque tale. In The Selection, the chiefs of a communist youth organization at a fuel company audition rock groups to play for their young employees, but their wish to provide popular entertainment clashes with their fears of youthful rebellion. Through their rigid requirements they try to tame rock ’n roll. (Gyula Gazdag, 1970, subtitles, 39 minutes)
The bumbling protagonist of The Witness stumbles through a series of minor appointments at which he unerringly and hilariously fails, most famously in cultivating the “Hungarian orange.” Yet at his final trial, this tart film issues defiance against a regime defined by favoritism and betrayal. In celebration of the film’s fiftieth anniversary, we screen the newly restored print that was a highlight of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. (Péter Bacsó, 1969, subtitles, 103 minutes)
still from The Witness
courtesy Sándor Domonkos