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Éva Gárdos’ tantalizing neo-noir, BUDAPEST NOIR, is currently making the rounds of film festivals in anticipation of its January 2019 release here in the United States. Based on the bestselling novel by Vilmos Kondor, it follows Zsigmond Gordon (played with an ironic melancholy to his world-weariness by Krisztián Kolovratnik) as he investigates the murder of a prostitute in 1936 Budapest. It’s not just the murder of someone no one cares about (or do they?), that suffuses the film’s mysterious atmosphere of corruption and nihilism, but also the rise of Fascism, taking root in Hungary as much by the apathy of the apolitical majority as by the fanaticism of the true believers.
I spoke with Gárdos when she was here in San Francisco for her film’s packed screening at the 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, where none other than the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller, conducted the onstage interview with Gárdos afterwards.
My full interview with Gárdos will post closer to BUDAPEST NOIR’s release by Menemsha Films, but for now, here’s the director talking about the correspondences she found between Gordon’s time and place, and ours.