dir. Palfi
Fri May 28 - Sun May 30
Guild Theater

The first thing you should know about the Hungarian film Hukkle is that it has no dialogue. It's more of what you would call an "experimental" film than a "narrative" film, so if you don't like experimentalism, don't see it.

The entirety of this exercise takes place in a small town on the Hungarian countryside. There are many characters intertwining, although distinguishing each character's role can be difficult, since they never say a word. There is an old man who can't get rid of the hiccups, a policeman with a mullet, the policeman's parents, who seem to be having marital trouble, and an old woman who may or may not have poisoned a cat with chicken gizzards. There are many more, but I wouldn't know how to describe them.

Filmmaker Gyorgy Palfi focuses on the sounds that human life makes, like the twirl of a bicycle tire, the flash of a camera, the cast of a fishing line, and most grotesquely, the slurpy sound of people eating. Overall, this experiment can get sort of boring, but Palfi keeps you from falling asleep by adding a few treats. First, he splices the human scenes with footage and recordings of animals in their natural habitats; for example, moles, frogs, a cat, a pig, a fish--which is rather fascinating, in a PBS sort of way. Also, he throws in random film tricks, like showing the moving human skeleton while one character is eating, or stopping the action when a jet plane blazes through town.

Most appreciably, however, Palfi makes his film short. If there is one thing that can ruin an abstract experiment in vision and sound, it's length. At about an hour and ten minutes long, Palfi doesn't try your patience and instead, gives you a nice little package that you can take or leave. I suppose I should also mention that there is a murder mystery contained somewhere in this film, but I felt completely lost trying to unravel it. And in fact, I didn't much care to solve the mystery; I just liked the shots of the cat playing in the grass and the two pigs humping.