HUN 1978 | Director, Script: Judit Ember | Camera: János Illés, Béla Ferenczy | Editor: Annamária Komlóssy | Music: Zsolt Döme | Sound: István Sipos | Production: István Fogarasi | Editorial Staff: Miklós Vásárhelyi | Assistant Director: Lilla Mátis | b/w | DCP of 35mm | 92 min | hungarian OV with english SUB | Filmarchiv des Ungarischen Filminstituts
When she begain shooting Mistletoe, Judit Ember had already directed more than ten films, among them the situational documentary The Resolution (1972), which she developed with Gyula Gazdag. Listed by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best documentary films of all time, in Hungary it was nonetheless banned until the 1980s. Judit Ember has the questionable honour of having produced the most banned films in socialist Hungary. Though her films were not militant, she was considered "incorrigible": her protagonists simply talked about or showed their experiences – or what happened to them every day – without expressing outrage or making accusations.
The film Lehrgeschichte ("Parable", 1976) was also banned at the time due to its sensitive subject matter: it deals with a girl who tries to take her own life. We see the same girl a number of years later in Mistletoe, Ember's only feature documentary film, as a young mother of two – and soon to be three – children. With natural sympathy and gentle humour, Ember shows the multifaceted life of a family that works night and day to get a tiny step ahead. The director portrays three generations of women who rely on one another, getting so close to the family that the camera was allowed in the operating room to film the birth by caesarean section – a first in documentary film history. (Virág Bottlik, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin)
Introduction by Borjana Gaković
GB 1963 | Director: Joan Littlewood | Camera: Walter Lassally | b/w | DCP of 16mm | silent | 3 min | British Film Institute / The Estate of Joan Littlewood
Men and women – mostly men – playing cards and smoking. The players have serious faces; curious onlookers are closely-packed; money is gripped tightly in the hands of workers...The camera catches Joan Littlewood engaging in small talk; she hides behind a glass display cabinet. Finally, men and women – mostly women – dance the twist.
"London at play, 60s style. These varied, fascinating scenes were shot in 1963 as part of a survey of London leisure by theatre director and filmmaker Joan Littlewood, and they offer a window into ordinary lives spent in the city centre. (…) The footage was shot for a film to support Littlewood's idea for a 'Fun Palace' - a huge movable construction that would house education and entertainment attractions. In 1963 Littlewood shot 60 reels of 16mm rushes around London to show what people currently did for leisure and to demonstrate that something else was needed. The film was finished but is now lost, and sadly Joan's Fun Palace never got built. However, the rushes paint a fantastic picture of the period, with many expertly filmed by cameraman Walter Lassally." (British Film Institute)
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