Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well. Written by
The film has been running daily at the Academy Arts Centre Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand since 2001 - and you still have book in advance because it is sold out (it's shown in a small 11-seat theatre). See more »
Beginning at 1:22:06, we can clearly see the set lights over top of the transom that separates the restaurant's vestibule from its main dining room. See more »
Everyone would like it all: something for the body, something for the soul. Something that fills you up, something that makes you hungry.
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Haunting is the only way to describe the melancholic film Gloomy Sunday.
The adult-orientated film explores such heavy issues as love, jealousy, hatred and betrayal in a graphic way that leaves the viewer reeling for hours afterwards. The German film, with English subtitles, begins in modern times at a Budapest restaurant where an elderly couple are enjoying a meal to celebrate the man's 80th birthday. He asks for the musicians to play `that famous song' as he focuses on a photograph of a beautiful young woman at the piano. As the violin plays the notes of Gloomy Sunday he keels over and dies. What follows is not so much a `whodunit' but who died and why. The audience is taken to pre-war Budapest restaurant owned by László Szabó (Joachim Król), a Jew, and his waitress and sometimes girlfriend Ilona Varniá (Erika Marozán). As the story unfolds the audience is introduced to the pianist András Aradi (Stefana Dionisi), who falls for Ilona, and composes the haunting Gloomy Sunday in her honour. A German industrialist, Hans Eberhard Wieker (Ben Becker), becomes a regular at the restaurant and he, too, falls for Ilona's charms. As the film progresses, and the men are vying for Ilona's affections, the song is recorded and sweeps the world. So heart-breaking is the song that more than one hundred people commit suicide while listening to it on their gramaphone. Some of these suicides are shown on screen. As World War II breaks out Wieker becomes a colonel in the German army and has a power over the other two men that, ultimately, leads to disaster for all involved. From a production point of view Gloomy Sunday cannot be faulted with authentic locales, clothes and music. Gloomy Sunday is a complex story that deals with the depravity of man, and its disastrous effects, as the three male leads share one women. Set against the backdrop of the holocaust there are elements of Schindler's List and a tone that matches Jane Campion's The Piano. Definitely an adult movie.
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