Liza, the Fox Fairy: a dangerous imaginary friend
by Fabien Lemercier
- Currently shooting, Károly Ujj Mészáros’s first feature is a black comedy set to the backdrop of a Japanese ghost story, produced by Filmteam
Since July 2, Károly Ujj Mészáros (photo) has been filming his first feature, Liza, the Fox Fairy [+see also:
interview: Karoly Ujj Mészáros
film profile], a project that was first revealed in 2010 at the Atelier de la Cinéfondation in Cannes. The film’s cast includes Mónika Balsai, Zoltán Schmied, David Sakurai, Piroska Molnár, and Gábor Reviczki.
Written by the director with Balint Hegedus, the screenplay tells the story of Liza, a shy nurse who for the last 12 years has looked after Marta, the widow of the Japanese ambassador to Hungary. On the day of her 30th birthday, Liza goes out hoping to meet someone. During the brief period that she is absent, Marta is assassinated by Liza’s imaginary friend Toni Tani, a former Japanese pop singer from the 1970s. Marta’s family accuses Liza of having killed Marta to inherit her apartment. Ensign Zoltan is put in charge of the investigation and moves in to the apartment to be able to observe his suspect closely. He secretly repairs all the household appliances that don’t work, suffering near lethal accidents and falling madly in love with Liza in the process. The latter has become confident and therefore much more attractive, but all her efforts to find a date fail because Toni Tani always finds a way to make sure her admirers all die from fatal accidents. Liza is convinced that she has turned into a "fox-fairy", the murderous demon from Japanese fairy tales. Soon the mysterious pop singer and Ensign Zoltan are both engaged in a battle for Liza’s life.
Produced by István Major for Filmteam, Liza, the Fox Fairy is co-produced by the Swedish from Kameraten AB, and has received support from Origo FilmGroup and VisionTeam. Shooting is set to last 42 days until August 26. The Hungarian Film Fund has supported the film with up to €520,000 (for a budget of €1.4m), and is to handle the film’s international sales.
(Translated from French)