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North american Premiere

  • Hungary 2009
  • 91 min
  • 35mm
  • Hungarian with English subtitles
WINNER: Director's Week Prize, Fantasporto 2010
WINNER: Best Film, Public Prize, Granada International Young Directors Festival 2009
Official Selection, Sci-Fi-London 2010
Official Selection, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2009


Sci-Fi / Fantasy

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“One of the most brilliant films I've ever seen” — Rick McGrath, QUIET EARTH

"Reminiscent of the works of Peter Greenaway... in its vast referential breadth, its mannered blurring of fact and fiction, and the beauty of its tableau-like images" — Anton Bitel, EYE FOR FILM


Director: Pater Sparrow
Screenplay: Pater Sparrow, Judit Goczan
Cast: Zoltán Mucsi, László Sinkó, Pál Mácsai, Vica Kerekes
Producers: Zoltan Kamondi, Attila Csaky
Print Source: Magyar Filmunió

Part of...

Camera Lucida   

Camera Lucida

Screens with...

My First Science Fiction Movie   

My First Science Fiction Movie

International Premiere
2010 | 4 min
English language



In a bookstore one evening, the impossible happens. Minutes before the doors close for the night, all of the books suddenly disappear and are each replaced by copy of a book entitled “1.” Its author unknown, the white-covered volume holds pages filled with mysterious statistics. The authorities at the scene quickly acknowledge that something is clearly out of whack and enlist the help of specialists in paranormal phenomena. While the store’s employees and one mystery client are confined to a madhouse, the book’s meaning is being decrypted by a team of baffled experts. They discover that these long numerical passages precisely describe every event occurring on earth at that exact moment. More dangerous than a bomb, this book must absolutely disappear. But it’s already too late. A copy has made its way out into the world, the reading of which causes a series of suicides across the globe. The prisoners in the mental institution may have the key to the mystery but are of little help as long as they are slowly rotting into insanity. That’s when the pears appear.

1 is one demented picture, an existentialist science-fiction puzzle, racing ahead on a serious adrenaline rush that doesn’t allow a moment to catch one’s breath. Although loosely inspired by a short story by Stanislaw Lem, author of “Solaris,” it’s light years away from Tarkovsky. Instead of taking an obvious approach to the material, Hungarian Pater Sparrow charges full-speed into a maze built of surrealist imagery where all philosophical thought explodes under the delirious pressure. Mixing his fiction with authentic archival documents, the filmmaker delivers a brilliant satire of the general confusion in which today’s society swims. With its intelligent description of a world plunged into chaos because of an event as inexplicable as it is unthinkable, Sparrow succeeds where Fernando Meirelles failed, with BLINDNESS, in capturing the spirit of Jose Saramago’s great novels. This audacious caricature of our own reality also reveals Sparrow’s flair for artistic direction. With sumptuous baroque settings, magnificent costumes and strange, indescribable machines, conjures up a visual universe that recalls Jeunet & Caro’s CITY OF LOST CHILDREN. Winning numerous awards around the world, 1 will soak into your soul and cause serious damage—and you’ll be thankful it did.

—Simon Laperrière (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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