Budapest, hipsters, lovers and trolley-buses, in the short films of Gábor Reisz

Gábor Reisz, the director of For Some Inexplicable Reason presented his film at the Karlovy Vary film festival for the first time. Since then in Hungary, the film has become an instant phenomenon with the young and hip audience of Budapest. We thought it would be a great idea to show the audience some of the young director’s earlier short films on Daazo, to show the audience his developing artistic style. 

The first and shortest piece of his collection is called The Reason of Denial, Honestly. The teachers of the Hungarian University of Theatre and Film Arts instantly decided to accept Reisz to the university after watching this two-minute experimental short film. His classmate, amongst others, was Bálint Szimler, the director of Here I Am, which was in the Cinéfondation section of Cannes in 2010. 

The Reason of Denial, Honestly is very similar to his first feature, not just because of the long and weird title, but both films picture a young and lost boy who is rambling in the streets of Budapest, looking for love, happiness and his true self. The city plays just as important as role as the people who live there: alive, receptive and constantly changing. It’s exciting and relaxing at the same time. Reisz knows and loves Budapest, with all of its true and honest mistakes, which makes the city even more beautiful.

The city and the main characters who are wandering on the streets and dealing with a ‘pre-life crisis’ are constantly returning in his short films and his feature as well. In Somebody’s Something we get to know a boy who is struggling with the psychology of survival and inheritance and their influence on him. Besides the meaningful thoughts, the film plays a wonderfully visual debut for the old trolley-buses of Budapest from the Soviet era.


In his short film On a Lower Level Reisz draws a portrait of a slightly older generation. Bálint, a 30-something yuppie finds one of his poems he wrote in high school but has since forgotten about. Because of this discovery, he questions his job, friends, family and the person he has become since high school. The beautiful cinematography touches the heart and soul. 


An accidental meeting transforms the slightly plump boy into an everyday hero in Reisz’s short film called Péter. Péter was made as part of the omnibus film called Budapest For Me, which was made by the director-students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts. This whole omnibus film was Gábor Reisz’s idea. The running tracks on Margaret Island (one of the most famous spots of the city) - shot by Marcell Rév - are looking beautiful, mystical and romantic. This silent drama is not made as an experimental art film, but as a complete and human story. A short version of a coming-of-age story, which shows the quiet but meaningful opening of a young boy towards the whole world. 


The artistic point of view of Gábor Reisz can be easily traced down in these four short films. These shorts can be interpreted as the preludes of For Some Inexplicable Reason, but each of them is very interesting and entertaining by itself.

18 November 2014, by Daazo

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