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Hukkle

Ferenc Bandi , Józsefné Rácz , György Pálfi    Unrated   DVD

Price: CDN$ 683.63
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, one-of-a-kind film May 21 2006
By LGwriter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There's no dialogue in this short (75-minute) feature film, set in the small village of Ozora, Hungary. The title is Hungarian slang for hiccup, and the film starts with an old man (pictured on the cover of the DVD) doing just that.

The old man sits in the same place during the entire film, doing nothing but hiccuping and watching as events transpire around him including two funeral processions, the passing through of a supersonic fighter jet, the discovery of what appears to be a murdered inhabitant of the village, and other things as well.

A complex film, Hukkle integrates views of nature (extreme close-ups of moles, frogs, rabbits, snakes, fish, birds, cats, and insects) with daily village life including a primitive form of bocce, fish poaching, eating a group meal, working at various trades, and an old woman out harvesting some type of plant(s).

Pay careful attention, because there are ostensibly clues along the way as to the reason for the dead body (although personally, I found it tough to locate those clues).

There are flashes of surrealism as well. In one scene, a man parts a hanging set of multiple filmstrips (of the film we are watching)--rather than beads or fabric--to enter a room. In another, the inner skeletal workings of the jaws and head are revealed as a man eats his dinner.

There's a nice set of extras here including a 'Making of' featurette, deleted scenes, and director commentary. The film has won several awards and is definitely a unique experience, setting it apart from the works of the other two notable Hungarian film makers, Bela Tarr and Istvan Szabo.

Definitely recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Challenging Film June 2 2007
By BookrT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
An old man has the hiccups. A mole digs underground. A family sit down to a meal. An old woman tends her garden. A pig's enormous testicles. Hukkle contains a series of images (both beautiful and disturbing) with no dialogue, and no apparent connection. The film challenges you to construct your own narrative.

The film portrays a day in the life of a rural village in Hungary. The images could be simple snapshots of the everyday lives of typical villagers -- or they could be clues to a sinister and disturbing mystery. Throughout the film, the viewer will be challenged to assemble the pieces, but nothing is revealed until the very end.

Be prepared to watch the film at least twice, since you will be completely lost during the first viewing.

In my opinion, Hukkle is one of the most original films I have every seen, and among the very best films of the last several years.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars See it for its originality in film! Sept. 2 2010
By  R I Z Z O  - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Hukkle, with the definition meaning hiccups in Hungarian, is a most original film that features no dialogue. Although the film looks simple with villagers going about with their daily chores in their often picturesque tight community, keep a close watch on the goings on, because that is where the theme of the movies lies. Most likely, it will take a second viewing, because during the first, the mind is set on the beauty of nature, the artistic close-ups of plant life, insects, machinery, memorable faces, the numerous animals, ducks, moles, pigs, sheep, and probably a heartwrentching visual is of a kitten who is having some kind of spasmodic attack that precedes death. However, wait....in the commentary with subtitles, the director did not film a kitten dying, but merely a kitten sedated.

Another reason why this may need a second viewing is because it is difficult to figure out what is the plot or storyline. Why are we always seeing people eat? pigs mate? microscopic shots of insects? plants bloom, people working, a cop taking a leak, a mole underground? the mixer grinding of a meal? And of course what is the deal with an old man with hiccups, who during the entire film sits and observes while the hiccups take hold of him?

Hidden between all these shots is a murder story that the viewer needs to struggle to figure out, but pay attention, the signs are there. But you will notice a cop doing an investigation and of course a larger clue, a dead man in the pit of the pond. Is it murder?

I don't know if one can come away with all the answers needed, as it is a film that one can just view for its originality. Like any village, the slice of life aspect is intriguing. One can view it as the cycle of life, creatures large and small, life and death, etc.

The DVD provides a commentary with subtitles, but don't expect many clues to what the film is about, but there are a few. The commentary is an understanding on the mechanics of filmmaking such as the sedation of the kitten, how to get a jet to zoom under a bridge, when to film the hot in heat for the right moment, the method of filming a mole, a snake, evolving plants, etc.

Again, whatever you take from this film is good, you don't need to have all the answers, but mostly, take it for its originality and uniqueness in filmmaking .......Rizzo
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A day in the life of a Hungarian town told by incredible cinematography and acute sound Jan. 21 2011
By Patrick Wilkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A day in the life of a Hungarian town told by incredible cinematography and acute sound. At the age of 28 in 2002 György Pálfi has put together one of the most unique movie experiences out there. This dark yet funny film at first glance seems to be just a series of random events linked together by smooth camera transitions. But, there is an underlying story here, a caper if you will. "Hukkle" is an onomatopoeia that is supposed to imitate the sound of a hiccup. The opening scene of the film features an old man who cannot stop hiccuping, I believe the director was relating the pace of the film to a hiccup hence the name.

During the opening credits the first name featured was that of the sound engineer Tamás Zányi. A fitting honor since there is no dialog in this film, the story is told entirely through sound. Everything from a growing leaf of grass to a F-16 Fighter jet is represented in precise detail. It truly is amazing to watch and listen to a movie like this. It grabs a hold of you and even though the events are seemingly random, you just can't wait to see what will happen next. It's like watching a Hungarian reality show.

Once you realize that there is a story underneath all of this, it makes it even better. I won't ruin it by explaining the plot, just know by the end you should understand it. If not, there is a nice song at the end with the only subtitles in the film to help explain everything. Although, one would benefit from a second viewing to pick it all out.

Visually, this film is wonderful. Cinematographer Gergely Pohárnok was brilliant. Moving smoothly from one scene to the next going through doors, windows and even bodies. He used CGI or computer generated imaging for some of the scenes which seemed out of place for me. I think it was to showcase more of the sound as in the growing leaf, but I thought it was unnecessary. There were only a few quick cuts thankfully, although, one in particular might make you a little uncomfortable or comfortable if your into that sort of thing.

This film is not for everyone. Some may feel bored with this as the plot is barely there. But, if you view this on its technical merits you will be highly impressed.

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