Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 July 2006


Lajos Koltai's movie Fateless is beautifully shot. It's not what I'd call a beautiful film, though. It's a Holocaust drama that follows the story of a fourteen-year-old as he goes from the streets of Budapest to Auschwitz to Buchenwald and the suffering that befalls him. It's gorgeous, as I said, which makes for really weird movie-watching. It's like watching a horror film shot by Christopher Doyle or something like that. You'd think that this disconnect would mean less identification with the main character: as though the beauty/horror of what you're watching would create distance between the young man at the film's center and the audience, but it doesn't at all have this effect. Instead, I found the film deeply moving (more so than Polanski's The Pianist) and also very relevant. Ennio Morricone's score seems familiar, but breaks from his traditional melodies early on in the movie and turns haunting, patient and beautiful.
Highly recommended.