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István Szabó (born February 18, 1938, Budapest) is a Hungarian film director.

Life

Szabó was the son of Maria (née Vita) and Istvan Szabó, who was a doctor. His family was Jewish and were hidden by family friends during the Holocaust. In the 1960s and '70s, he directed films which explore his own generation's experiences and recent Hungarian history (Father ( 1966); Lovefilm (Szerelmesfilm 1970) and 25 Fireman's street (Tűzoltó utca 25 1973)). His signature film trilogy consists of Mephisto (1981, winner of an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and a Cannes Awardmarker for the Best Screenplay), Colonel Redl (1984, winner of a Jury Prize at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival) and Hanussen (1988).

Szabó began to make English-language films with Meeting Venus (1991), and followed it with Sunshine (1999), Taking Sides (2001) and most recently Being Julia (2004), which garnered an Oscar nomination for actress Annette Bening. His most acclaimed films came from his work with famed Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, and his ongoing collaboration and friendship with cinematographer Lajos Koltai.

Politics

On January 26, 2006 a Hungarian weekly newspaper, Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature), revealed that István Szabó was an 'agent' of the Internal Reactionary Prevention Unit of the Communist regime of Hungary during the Kádár-era. (Though the word 'agent' was used by the Hungarian media to describe his involvement, his activities resembled more of those of a "civilian asset" or "informant".) His task was to make reports about his classmates in the University of Arts of Theatre and Cinema (he made about 48 of them). He was blackmailed by the authorities with compromising evidence against him and as such he was forced to work for them as an 'agent' only one year after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Szabó agreed "to save himself and revolutionist classmate Pál Gábor from being gibbeted" (in Szabó's own words).

Career

On February 1, 2006, Szabó's latest movie Rokonok (Relatives) was a huge success, receiving a round of applause when Szabó was asked to come on stage after its premiere at the 37th Annual Hungarian Movie Review. At this event Lajos Koltai, the film's cinematographer (and acclaimed Director of Fateless) declared that "Some people are still trying to crush even this community" and "Let the love keep us together." On February 3 he and his four former classmates (whereof Szabó had written reports) held a press conference to speak about their memories about their lives in the post-revolution Hungary of the 1950s and that they didn't feel anger towards Szabó.

Filmography



Further reading



References

  1. Istvan Szabo Biography (1938-)
  2. Sample: István Szabó

External links




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