Hungarian artists honor Czech director Menzel, Orban joins the tribute

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban says he was sorrowed to hear the news of the director's death and shared a video tribute

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 08.09.2020 12:30 (updated on 08.09.2020)

Budapest, Sept 7 (CTK) – Hungarian artists and politicians called Czech film director Jiri Menzel a legend and an outstanding person, and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said feels the sorrow of Menzel’s death.

“Our legend has passed away,” Orban wrote on Facebook and attached a video tribute to Menzel who died on Saturday.

Hungarian actor Janos Ban, who played the main role in Menzel’s film My Sweet Little Village nominated for an Academy Award, also expressed his condolences. “Jiri Menzel was not only my mentor but also my friend,” Ban said in an interview with the Magyar Hirlap daily newspaper.

Elment a legendánk // Our legend has passed awayhttps://youtu.be/-qfUArhblUc

Zveřejnil(a) Orbán Viktor dne Neděle 6. září 2020

Ban played Otik, a mentally disabled young man who works as an assistant lorry driver. He met Menzel in 1978 when they both played in the Hungarian film Every Wednesday (Minden Szerdan). Later on, they played together also in a Budapest theatre. “I am honoured to call him my friend,” Ban said.

Jiri Menzel was a great artist and person, said Ban who wrote a book about him, praising his kindness, patience, and professional humbleness. Menzel loved Hungarian culture and artists very much, Ban said. In addition to Ban, Menzel was a friend of some other Hungarian artists, such as popular film actress Mari Töröcsik and film director Istvan Szabo.

A number of Slovak publications eulogized the director as well.

“Director and actor Jiri Menzel will always belong to Czech titans. His name got famous worldwide in 1966 when he won an Oscar for his first feature film Closely Watched Trains,” Slovak daily Novy Cas noted.

Along with Milos Forman and Vera Chytilova, Menzel belongs to the greatest names in the incredible 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave, Dennik N Daily wrote, adding that Menzel is among the directors who liked creating films based on literature.

TEACHER PROFILES

Menzel made some 20 films as director and featured in many films as an actor. His film Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky), based on a novel by Bohumil Hrabal, won the Oscar for the best foreign-language film in 1967.

A large part of Menzel’s work as a filmmaker was linked to the work of Hrabal (1914-1997). One of Menzel’s very first films, Pearls of the Deep (Perličky na dně, 1965) was made after Hrabal’s book of stories. Menzel made the film together with several fellow film directors of the Czechoslovak New Wave.

Numerous film industry publications and fans have also Tweeted tributes to the director.

The Oscar-winning film director Jiří Menzel died on Saturday evening aged 82.