Dir.: Bemnce Miklauzic
Cast: Ferenc Lengyel, Tibor Szervét, Lia Pokorny, Kálmán Somody, Zoltán Rajkal
Hungary 2014, 92 min.
Bemnce Miklauzic’s surrealist drama CAR PARK is a brilliant portrait of today’s Hungary: aggressive males dominate, status is everything and the crass materialism of the capitalist order brings out the worst in nearly everyone.
Miklauzic (CHILDREN OF THE GREEN DRAGON) has set his film mainly in a car park, hemmed in by houses on all sides. Légiós (Lengyel), the owner of the lot, has a traumatic past which he keeps alientated from everyone. Even his closest friend and assistant Attila (Rajkal) does not know what happened to him, or if Legios really served in the foreign legion. Legios’ main interest is keeping some young fledglings – nestled above a billboard – safe from the marauding neighbourhood cat.
One day, Imre, a transit entrepreneur and typical “Budapest Suit”, appears in his 1968 Ford Mustang. He asks for the only roofed parking space, which Legios denies him. Later we learn that Legios buries the bodies of the birds here. Legios and Imre take great delight in jossling for superiority. When Imre installs CCTV in Légiós’ caravan and watches from his penthouse office overlooking the car park, Legios gets his own back by sleeping with Ildiko (Pokorny), the wife of Edgar, a corrupt policeman, who has been sacked. Whilst Attila listens to the boiling cooking pot, and translates the noises into Morse-code, we learn that Imre has a kidney disease, which makes him impotent; his wife wanting a divorce, which her husband fights with his usual intransigence. When Imre shows Edgar the incriminating video of his wife and Légiós, and has a poster installed on the billboard, which gives away Légiós’Ó traumatic past, he sets up a duel to the death – something both men wanted all along.
CAR PARK would be worthy of Buñuel; Miklauzic shows human cruelty with great imagination. His sense of perversity is particularly evident in the surprise ending. The ensemble acting is very convincing, and the director uses the seemingly limited space of the car park to great effect. Shades of Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW enhance this absurd tragedy of isolation, mental and physical violence, greed and male death wish – attributes, which unfortunately manifested themselves under very different political regimes during the last century in Hungary. AS
SCREENING AT PALIC | SERBIA | EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL 18 -24 JULY 2015