Magazine article Screen International

Final Cut - Ladies and Gentlemen

Magazine article Screen International

Final Cut - Ladies and Gentlemen

Article excerpt

Dir: Gyorgy Palfi. Hungary. 2012. 84mins

Christian Marclay has already explored far more elaborately the concept of telling one story or several of them, by using sequences from existing films. And indeed, his celebrated The Clock installation has been extensively displayed in museums all over the world since it was first unveiled in 2010. Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi attempts to go the same way, using bits and pieces from several hundreds of films and nothing else for the purpose of telling a classic movie romance, replete with all the clichés of the genre.

To the credit of Palfy's team, the material is smoothly stitched together and the soundtrack is always supportive.

A light-hearted prank for the first ten minutes, Final Cut - Ladies and Gentlemen (Holgyeim es Uraim) soon overstays its welcome, turning into a never-ending movie quiz, occasionally entertaining but mostly exhausting to follow. A curio item for film festivals, it holds little, if any interest, for commercial exploitation, though in this age of downloading someone might latch on the idea of a website collecting all the available film clips in the world, for any client to put together his own film out of them.

Boy meets girl, boy courts girl, boys beats competition for the girl, boy takes girl to bed, boy marries girl... time goes by, husband at work, wife at home, pregnancy on the way, husband fails to react, wife suspicious, husband suspicious, calls wife a slut and goes to war, wife stays home in tears, men die on the front, women desperate at home, but before the end husband comes home, and the two kiss over the finale.

The identity of the partners changes from shot to shot, the same goes for the locations, the language and the exact nature of the relations, for each action there are about twenty or thirty parallel examples from different films, and since royalty problems evidently did not allow for any quote to be over 10 or 15 seconds, you have twenty men walking down the street, thirty couples passionately kissing, fifty couples making love - some conservatively and others going at it as if there is no tomorrow - and so on.

There is no point mentioning all the contributions to this film, they are far too numerous and in any case, short of watching it on an editing device and stopping to note the titles, there is no way you can do justice to them all.

Starting with Avatar, you meet in quick succession anything from Chinatown to Midnight Cowboy, not to mention Breathless, Modern Times, Some Like It Hot, Annie HalI, Once Upon A Time In The West, Ninotchka, Casablanca, The Apartment, Pulp Fiction, and a million others. …

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