Close Up

29 July 2023: 25 Fireman's Street


25 Fireman's Street
István Szabó, 1973, 98 min

István Szabó's agile camera is an uninvited guest peeking into the private and collective memories of the residents of an apartment building in Budapest that is due to be demolished the next day. A milestone in film history for its intricate narrative and free-form imagery, 25 Fireman's Street was partly inspired by Szabó's discovery of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood. Each image can be seen as a metaphor of something larger, but perhaps, more rewardingly, as a photographic representation of a poetic probe which, at first, seems impossible to decipher but gradually allows for a pattern of thoughts to emerge in which history and personal memory of Hungarians fully complement each other.

Screening as part of our retrospective on István Szabó