Amazing Shorts from Absurdistan

  • Hungarian, Czech, 1958-1970, 97min, DCP, English subtitle

Clever albeit short films dissecting the surrealism of Eastern European totalitarianism with sure scalpels. Roman Polanski mingles Tati and Breughel in Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958) as his hapless protagonists go through scenes of disquieting violence. Although Jan Svankmajer would become known for animations, his breakthrough The Garden (1968) captures the potential surrealism surrounding everyday life. Sometimes the scalpel cuts too deep – as unwelcome as The Uninvited Guest (1969), Venclik’s film was banned for 20 years – but Gazdag challenged the Hungarian bureaucracy more subtly with bands, not guns, in The Selection (1970).

13.4 (SAT): Introduction by Gabriel M. Paletz (in English)


1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till one hour prior to respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

3. While it is the HKIFF’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, HKIFF will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.