Gyula Nemes • Director
"It is a film about nothing. And I was able to shoot everything about nothing"
Hungarian director Gyula Nemes presented his debut feature My One and Onlies in Venice as part of the Critics’ Week (see news). The highly kinetic, energetic and cinematic portrait of a womaniser (played by Krisztián Kovács) premiered during the same week on five screens in Hungary to great success. Cineuropa met with the director in Venice.
Cineuropa: This film seems to be both part of a new wave of Hungarian cinema talents as well as a particularly European film?
Gyula Nemes: It is a really European film: Umberto Rossi, one of the selectors of the Critics' Week, said that it was chosen as a European film, not a Hungarian film. It is made in the Czech school, in the style of the Czech New Wave. Even the money that we got to shoot this feature, I got it when I went to Czech Film School. In Hungary, nobody seems to care about beginners if you are not the son of a famous filmmaker or if you have no connections. Now there is a new generation that graduated from the Hungarian Film School, where you make a feature at the end of the programme, that is letting the world know that something is happening in Hungarian film. And it helped that this year there were a lot of Hungarian films in Berlin and Cannes.
Where did the original idea for the film come from, since you have stated it is partially autobiographic?
Naturally I have to make a film about picking up girls, because I am part of a "lost" generation. I could make a film about war or revolution but no such events happened in my life and I did not grow up in a big family, so the only thing left was shooting this crazy world of parties and girls. A world where there is not a single day in which you do a normal thing, so basically, it is a film about nothing. And I think I was able to shoot everything about nothing. I care about two things: reality as in documentary film and film language, and in this work I tried to bring these together.
How did the opening in Hungary go?
We thought it was a very experimental film, but in the first four days since it opened it has been seen by more people than an average Hungarian art film in a whole year. It played to full houses because young people get this kind of language, even though critics or distributors might not since they are older or different. I think younger people don't pay so much attention to the story. Because of television and music videos -- even those of bad quality - they are being guided to get back to the basics of film, which are about creating pictures and feelings.
What will be your next project?
It will be an anarchistic comedy. For the moment, I have just the synopsis. In fact, coming to Venice has allowed me to change plans and make a film on a normal budget. The film is about a criminal and a terrorist who, alone, wants to change something, something very ridiculous. It will be very funny, very tragic and inviting reflection. I don't write scripts (for myself), just for the producers, of course, but I can already see the film. It will be very graphic and very different from this film: in black and white and in cinemascope.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.