Hungarian Director Attila Gigor

By Laszlo Kriston

    Following stints as a bit actor, film journalist, assistant director and creator of two short films, several music videos and commercials, the 30-year-old Hungarian filmmaker Attlia Gigor, neé Attila Galambos, has broke the 30-second format's barrier with The Investigator, an astonishingly original neo noir film ripped with macabre humor which he wrote and directed.

    Produced by businessman Ferenc Pusztai (with interests in the printing business) the Hungarian-Swedish-Irish co-production features a chronically tight-lipped and antisocial forensic pathologist who, in desperate need of money to pay for his cancer-stricken mother's operation, gets mixed up in a murder scheme. Shot on a tight schedule (less than 30 days), the movie blends reality and fantasy, including one scene where all the protagonists, alive and departed, congregate in a large conference hall to debate who is the murderer.

    "This quirky little thriller brings to mind Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series, where the perverted morality of the ending requires the reader to take sides with the villain," Screen International wrote of the film, adding that the "cooly-directed, nicely-paced picture'"is "ripe for a Hollywood remake." New Line Cinema along with a Hollywood agent has expressed interest in obtaining the remake rights.

    Among home-grown movies, with its 26,000 admissions, or roughly 97,000 euros gross, it earned seventh place at the local box office in 2008.

    Trust Film Sales (www.trust-film.dk) handles worldwide distribution rights.

    Gigor's refreshing style and mature sense of genre filmmaking marks a major departure from the mold of a largely auteruist national cinema that has traditionally been dominated by either the preference of poetic style and parabolic overtones over storytelling (Jancso, Tarr, Mundruczo) or its strong roots in realistic filmmaking stemming from socially inclined stories (Szabo, Rozsa, Meszaros).

    The film snapped up a slew of awards at the 2008 Hungarian Film Week. The quiet and reserved Gigor then won a special mention and the Don Quijote Prize in Karlovy Vary, the FIPRESCI Award in Warsaw and the main prize at the Silk Road Film Festival in Bursa, Turkey.

    Admittedly interested in "sex and death," Gigor is currently working on a short subject and writing the script for his next feature.