LAND OF STORMS (aka VIHARSAROK) | MOVIE REVIEW

LAND OF STORMS (aka STURMLAND aka VIHARSAROK) is screening as part of the WINDOWS ON EUROPE FILM FESTIVAL that is happening in Sydney from Monday, November 17th to the 23rd at Dendy Opera Quays and in Canberra from 24th to 30th November at Dendy Canberra. The lineup is awesome and we have five reviews coming for you that started Sunday with our review of DOMESTIC, then continued Monday with our review of THE IRISH PUB and then yesterday’s review of VIOLET. Suss their website, grab some tickets and see some amazing European films that will most likely not make the cinema circuit in Australia. LAND OF STORMS is made by Atom Films, has a festival exemption rating and runs for 82mins. All the best…..JK.

 

LAND OF STORMS MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
LAND OF STORMS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

Why did I see this movie? It looked amazing, I am gay, it is a gay movie and to be honest, for a gay guy I really have limited gay friends to socialise with, I truly have become the only gay in the village, I needed to be amongst gays and gay culture. It was part of the Windows on Europe Film Festival and I really wanted to review it. A spectacular solo night was had, ferry trip to Circular Quay, dinner at Opera Kitchen, then a seat next to a most gorgeous guy and one of two sold out cinemas packed to the rafters of Sydney gay arthouse elite. I felt so at home, had a ball, and the movie showed me a few things, namely be who you are and follow your heart, and some times your little you :).

LAND OF STORMS is based on a true story and this flawed me. It is one of the most beautiful films I have seen all year, it is slightly “BROKEBACKISH” and one of the most evocative erotic films of love and pure tenderness. It is sensual, powerful, filled with love and heart and it is also a Shakespearean styled tragedy of the heart that embraces martyrdom. Shakespeare would have have given this film a standing ovation.

 

LAND OF STORMS MOVIE IMAGE
LAND OF STORMS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SZABOLCS AND ARON IN ONE OF THE MOST ROMANTIC SCENES ON FILM

 

Szabolcs (András Sütö) is an exceptional football player, he can be the best, he is in running to play for Germany, but he does not know what he wants from life, he plays football purely for his father and has little passion in it. He barely knows himself, being in the football team there is a lot of bonding and near nakedness from team mates, his roommate is pretty much in love with him and possibly him with his roommate. They have a huge fight but Szabolcs wanted out prior to this, he sabotages his position on the team and basically runs away back to his bequeathed home from his grandparents in Hungary. The place is falling down, the roof is full of holes and it leaks like a sieve but he likes it.

One night Szabolcs wakes to see some guys in balaclavas trying to ride away on his bike, he tackles one of them to the ground who hits his head and becomes unconscious. Being a moral guy he does the right thing and nurses the freaking gorgeous Áron (Ádám Varga) back to the sunlight. Áron feels guilty and helps Szabolcs fix his house up and start patching the roof. They bond, they form a friendship, they get pissed and have a lot of fun and one thing leads to another and a sexual encounter occurs, an encounter that is all about Szabolcs pleasing Áron, Áron keeps himself removed but enjoying the sensation.

I think it is as this stage that Szabolcs falls in love and sees his moment to get away from it all, he doesn’t give a shit about his football life, he wants the picket fence and he could possibly have it here with Áron. And slowly this becomes a tension and difficult love affair in a town that has never had a gay. Áron is confused and also spends his life looking after his sick but strong mother, he confesses in his confusion that his new employer Szabolcs felt him up but he didn’t stop him. It gets to the town, poor Szabolcs gets beaten and outcast, but he really doesn’t give a fuck. In the meantime Áron is struggling with his new found sexuality that for the first time in his life involves tenderness and love and it goes beyond his dick, it reaches to his heart.

 

LAND OF STORMS MOVIE IMAGE
LAND OF STORMS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ÁRON AFTER SZABOLCS IS BEATEN

 

And so begins an on again off again relationship set in a strange Hungarian country town that are naive to the ways of homosexuals and preferred they didn’t taint the town with their dick on dick action :). To throw a spanner in the works, once Szabolcs is head over heals in love his old roommate Bernard (Sebastian Urzendowsky) turns up to see Szabolcs in the hope their love will start. If that doesn’t work out JK volunteers -Urzendowsky is just beautiful in every way – a JK-type right there hahaha.

And here we have a tense life choice, love or love, country bee-keeping with a new life, or possible love while playing for Germany in football.

Love isn’t easy and probably why I have avoided it for so long, you see, I am Szabolcs and you won’t know what that means unless you see the movie :).

The direction, acting and cinematography of this film are superb. The film felt subdued and slightly sepia but this gave it a poetic and emotive hue. Hungarian director Adam Csaczi’s assured debut feature delivers in every way, it never becomes melodramatic, it maintains heavy drama and sensual romance but still has moments of high comedy and moments that will make you cry and then his finale, a moment that will punch you in the stomach, with a car. I never saw it come, but it did and I questioned it the entire way home and then reminded myself it was based on a true story, this never helped.

 

LAND OF STORMS MOVIE IMAGE
LAND OF STORMS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SZABOLCS, BERNARD AND ÀRON AFTER A VERY FUN NIGHT

 

The thing that got me about this film was the heartfelt tenderness and chemistry, these aren’t incredible sex scenes with a set of 50 people and Angelina rubbing ice down her boobies, these are two guys, scruffy, and I have never seen something so loving and tender, I would kill for that chemistry and tenderness, and the scene with the door, a glass door, it is really short, but honestly one of the most cutest and romantic scenes I have ever seen, these guys are incredible as an onscreen couple.

The film is also strong in its thoughts and values on homophobia, there are some brutal scenes that had an audience of Sydney gays gasping. It is basic in its approach, people can be fucktards, narrow minded bigoted people who would rather beat something than learn about it. It never lingers and it never lectures but nearly every gay man would have experienced something like this in their life, it covers so much of the spectrum of homophobia.

Finally the cinematography, it is subtle and it is stunning, it is painted canvas with vastness in colours and camera angles that light up the screen, the high angled shots of the farm house and using the centred shot as opposed to off-centred shot works for me and my OCD. The shot towards the start of Szabolcs walking through the field towards the dilapidated house is beautiful, it was these scenes and the use of sunlight and beautiful night lit scenes that made the film stand out. I clap the film cinematography from Marcell Rev.

 

LAND OF STORMS MOVIE IMAGE
LAND OF STORMS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SZABOLCS AND BERNARD

 

This is the closest movie to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN since BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, it is stunning, it is sensual and it is tragic but at the same time beautiful, romantic and filled with comedic and also deeply emotional moments. See this film, if you are gay, it will be up there with one of your favourite films, if you are not and you love art house movies and good film making then this is also for you. I just wish I could find the true story to read up on in a translated novel or study.

I LOVE THIS MOVIE, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITES FOR THE YEAR.

 

5 Pops

 

 

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