Private Vices, Public Virtues

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Private Vices, Public Virtues (1976, Italy) is a Historical Drama film directed by Miklós Jancsó.

Synopsis: Prince Rudolf of Austria spends more time romping with friends and lovers than scheming against the royal family.

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Main Details

  • Released in 1976
  • Color
  • Running time: 104 minutes
  • Directed by Miklós Jancsó
  • Produced by Giancarlo Marchetti, Monica Venturini
  • Written by Giovanna Gagliardo
  • Starring Lajos Balázsovits
  • Cinematography by Tomislav Pinter
  • Edited by Roberto Perpignani

About Miklos Jancso

Miklos Jancso (1921-2014) was one of the giants of European art cinema. He had been making films in his native Hungary since 1958, but in 1966 he exploded onto the world scene at Cannes with THE ROUND UP. The international critics had never seen anything like it. Combining cinematography with choreography, Jancso films crowds of soldiers on horseback, peasants, and partisans as they perform a ritualistic dance of love, life and death on the bleak Hungarian plains. Ostensibly a costume piece about the 1848 revolt against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the film was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled attack on the aborted 1956 Hungarian uprising against Soviet Russia.

Over his next five features he developed and refined a hypnotic and fluid technique via long, sweeping camera moves and crane shots. Filming in color, his productions became like dazzling "happenings", combining music, dance, naked bodies, horses, men in uniform and spontaneous bursts of singing into a seemingly eternal tracking shot. His films were widely screened at festivals and in art house cinemas. His was a name to drop, an influence to quote.

Then, in the early 1970s, Jancso moved to Italy and began working with new collaborators. Times were changing. It was a post-1968 world and a new explicitness was being seen onscreen, coupled with a certain sense of betrayal about the ideals that had seemed so achievable only a few years before. PRIVATE VICES PUBLIC VIRTUES, made in 1975, reflected both these factors.

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