Control

Set in the dark tunnels of the Budapest subway, Control is a breed of black comedy centering on the underground experiences of a bunch of ticket inspectors. That said, it is virtually impossible to categorise the film in any one genre. Control incorporates the kind of character portraits that recall the choreography of Luc Besson's Subway and again presents subway stations as an alternative living unit. Yet the real issue at hand is the location itself. This is posited as a transit point, a platform on the way from somewhere akin to the place of the last judgement. With this, his debut feature, 30 year-old Hungarian director Nimród Antal brought off both a cult movie and a national box-office hit. His concern is clear: to paint a symbolic picture of today's chaotic world. In so doing, he exploits the revelatory function of cinema to describe the "disintegration" particularly of former "Iron Curtain" countries. Yet for all that, this is a character-centred film. The lead, a young inspector, is so disillusioned with the planet that he stands no chance of emerging into the light of day. Until he finds a helping hand in the shape of a pink bear, we see only his life in the shadowy subway and his dark inner journey. Using the underground world of the subway as a kind of microcosm, Antal depicts a diversity of figures ranging from officials to passengers, all bizarre in manner and on the verge of madness. The woeful state of civilian "system guards" is quite simply an allusion to authority's fall from favour. And the fact that, ignored by passengers on the one hand, they're up against Kafkaesque bureaucracy with their own superiors drives home the point with still greater force. As the tension mounts in the shadow of a mysterious murderer, who appears out-of-the-blue, this is counterpoised by a reassuring fairy tale quality typified by the arrival of the pink bear. Despite the "cut and paste" use of disparate symbols and overall sense of disarray that comes of coast
Hungary
'
2003

Director
Nimród Antal

Script
Nimród Antal

Cinematography
Gyula Pados

Editing
István Király

Production
Café Film

Cast
Enikö Eszenyi
Eszter Balla
György Cserhalmi
Sandor Badar
Sándor Csányi

Music
NEO

Awards
Best Cinematography
Best Cinematography Copenhagen - Golden Tower Palic - Special Jury Prize Sochi
Gene Moskowitz Critic's Prize
Most Popular Film Budapest Hungarian Film Week - Best Director
Youth Prize Cannes Un Certain Regard Sándor Simó Prize for Best First Film

Festivals
10th Festival on Wheels
EUROPE EUROPE