Ildikó Enyedi
Stories & Ideas

Wed 25 Jan 2023

Magic, Whimsy and Lightbulb Moments: Ildikó Enyedi’s transportive cinema

Film Melbourne Cinémathèque Retrospective
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Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society

Notes for the 12–19 July 2023 Melbourne Cinémathèque program.

Born in Budapest in 1955, Ildikó Enyedi has forged a singular, thoroughly independent career in film. Her uniquely imaginative and witty cinema, steeped in magic realism, given to flights of fancy and shifts in relationships between the quotidian and the transcendent, across parallel or intersecting planes of reality, dream and illusion, is “dedicated to liberating the imagination from the ideological constraints of – and obsession with – the [former Soviet Bloc’s] traumatic history” (Catherine Portuges).

This season includes her three most celebrated features, including a digital restoration of her landmark 1989 Cannes Camera d’Or-winner, My Twentieth Century; 2017’s remarkable, Berlinale Golden Bear-awarded comeback after 18 years’ absence from feature filmmaking, On Body and Soul; and 1999’s Simon, the Magician, as concerned with the end of the 20th century – and the millennium – as My Twentieth Century was with its outset. Also included are several of Enyedi’s formative works: 1987’s experimental short feature The Mole, produced at the Balázs Béla Studio in Budapest, the Eastern Bloc’s only independent film studio; and the 1986 short Invasion, made while Enyedi was studying as the only woman enrolled in her class at the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest; she would later teach there. These fascinating early works bristle with the same preoccupations, inventiveness and oneiric qualities as her brilliant, much more widely seen and celebrated, later work.


Magic, Whimsy and Lightbulb Moments: Ildikó Enyedi’s transportive cinema

On Body and Soul (2017) – Wed 12 Jul, 7pm
Simon, the Magician (1999) – Wed 12 Jul, 9.15pm
My Twentieth Century (1989) – Wed 19 Jul, 7pm
The Mole (1987) – Wed 19 Jul, 9pm

Person laying on sand, with their face reflected in a puddle

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

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