Time Stands Still | Chicago Reader

Time Stands Still

This second feature by Hungarian filmmaker Peter Gothar is a little overfull in the way second features often are: the setting is Budapest during the first wave of post-Stalinist liberalization in the early 60s, and the idea is to link an adolescent's ambiguous progress toward sexual and moral maturity with the political transformations taking place in his country. But Gothar's talent for creating smoky, menacing atmospheres and darkly enigmatic dramatic situations tends to obscure his concept—the result is a film that is, in some ways, too good for its own good, haunting, original, and impressive, but not really satisfying. The same might be said of Lajos Koltai's eerily backlit cinematography.

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