Film Marathon plays to full houses

Budapest Classics Film Marathon, the largest festival in Hungary of restored motion pictures, runs until Sunday. Cinemas in the capital are once again hosting stars such as Kálmán Latabár, Mari Törőcsik, Johnny Depp, Dezső Garas, Klári Tolnay, Grace Kelly, and John Travolta. THE TIN DRUM, THE FOOTBALL STAR (CSODACSATÁR), RAGING BULL, BLACK NARCISSUS, GREASE, TRAINSPOTTING and more are all projected on the big screen while Hollywood’s greatest Hungarian artists make a return to picture theatres.

The festival of restored film classics is attracting huge interest. It opened yesterday evening with Malèna – photographed by Lajos Koltai – at Uránia National Film Theatre. The cream of Hungarian cultural life attended the gala, including Lajos Koltai, Andrew Macdonald, Ákos, Márk Ember, Judit Elek, Enikő Eszenyi, Ibolya Fekete, Gyula Gazdag, Lili Horváth, Péter Kálloy Molnár, Andrea Rost, András Sütő, Béla Ternovszky, Franciska Törőcsik and Dorottya Udvaros.

György Ráduly at the opening gala (Fotó: NFI)

Organized by the Hungarian Film Institute, the event running until Sunday sees restored works return to cinemas that were last screened for audiences years, and in some cases decades earlier, and which can be viewed on the silver screen exclusively during Film Marathon. Around 1500 cinemagoers participated at the opening day of the festival and full-house performances are becoming increasingly common. Tickets sold out for the Alfred Hitchcock movie To Catch a Thief starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, the Jean Renoir romantic comedy A Day in the Country, Francis Ford Coppola’s epochal classic The Godfather, the first Hungarian biopic, Endre Tóth’s Semmelweis (1939), and Raging Bull that made Robert de Niro a global phenomenon.

Csaba Káel at the opening gala (Fotó: NFI)

During the festival presenting more than 100 restored classics, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ed Wood, Football of the Good Old Days (Régi idők focija) and Grease can all be enjoyed for free on the giant screen in front of the Basilica, while other screenings can be watched for the discounted rate of just HUF 500 in Toldi cinema, Uránia National Film Theatre and the French Institute.

One of the specialities of the programme is a block of spectacular super-productions by Sándor Korda, or as the world knows him Sir Alexander Korda, plus works by Oscar-winner Emeric Pressburger, born Imre Pressburger, whose grandchildren, BAFTA laureate producer Andrew Macdonald and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, personally introduce their movies, including the legendary Trainspotting and The Last King of Scotland.

(Fotó: NFI)

In addition, Film Marathon provides many chances to meet the artists in person: Pál Sándor, Gyula Gazdag, Péter Gárdos, Thierno Souleymane Diallo, Pierre Földes and leading researchers of film heritage and film history initiate audiences into behind-the-scenes secrets.

MOL is main sponsor of Budapest Classics Film Marathon organized by the National Film Institute.