Simon the Magician (Simon mágus)

(1999, feature, 35mm, color, 92 minutes)
co-produced with:France

Let me tell you an old story. Paris, 1998. We hardly remember what it was like. The city, the people, the technology. Too sophisticated and too rude, ironical and cheap. The end of something, but not a new beginning. Like ancient Rome around 100 B.C. This was when Simon, the magus turned up. It all started out like a brief report from the evening paper. Paris. A crime. No lead. No clues for the police. They turn to a visionary for help. He comes from the East and calls himself Simon. When he arrives people gather around him. They all expect a miracle: paparazzi, a disciple and an old rival, another magus. A successful and sophisticated man, he lives in Paris, but feels that Simon is the real one. He challenges him to a duel, a magus-duel. They have to spend three days under the earth and then rise again. Simon accepts the challenge. Why? Just because. Why not? He does not really feel like it, but if the other insists so much, let it be. He is a weary magus. Reserved and dispirited. He would like to lie down. When, on the third day he is dug out of his temporary grave, they find him dead. They bury him again according to his instructions. Night falls. The magus is alone, lying in the ground, in the deserted outskirts of a foreign city. Jeanne hurries to her date with Simon. She does not know anything about him, she only knows the man she loves. The earth is frozen. Motionless. Now a muffled noise is heard from the deep. And another. A thin crack on the ground. The magus is dead, but the man makes his date on time.

Awards

Locarno International Film Festival - 1999

FICC Special Prize

Tromso International Film Festival - 2000

Aurora Prize

Tehran FAJR International Film Festival - 2000

Best Actress: Julie Delarme

Best Actress: Julie Delarme

Arcachon Women Directors - 1999

Best Actor: Péter Andorai

Budapest Hungarian Film Week - 1999

Best Director: Ildikó Enyedi

Corato Film Festival - 2000

Main Prize

Mazottan International Film Festival - 2001

Best Actor: Péter Andorai

Salerno International Film Festival - 2000

Best Screenplay: Ildikó Enyedi

Lecce European Cinema Festival - 2000

Golden Olive Tree (main prize)

National premiere:
1999