DVD Review: Electra, My Love

Myths and legends have fascinated humankind throughout he ages. Greek, Roman and Norse mythology has stuck with us in popular literature, TV and films. Based on a play by László Gyurkó, Electra, My Love is a reinterpretation of the Greek Electra myth, made in 1974. Miklós Jancsó, Famous for his extremely long takes, outdoes himself here. The entire film, which lasts just over an hour, contains only twelve cuts.

Fifteen years after her father Agamemnon was killed by her mother’s lover Aegisthus (József Madaras), Electra (Mari Törőcsik) still feels his oppression. When her brother Oretes (György Cserhalmi) returns, he discovers that she’s been forced to marry a dwarf. Disguised as a messenger heralding Oretes death, he is killed by his sister but comes back to life. The pair, along with the people, rise up against the tyrannical rule of Aegisthus.

Whilst the story is based on an archaic tale, Electra, My Love is very much grounded in contemporary Hungary. Jancsó hammers home the point, having the pair airlifted by helicopter at the end of the film. The sweeping sequences are reminiscent of a play and the different colours on show in the new restoration are striking. Electra, My Love is an impressive reworking, offering a political and social commentary to modern oppression.

Special Features:

• Presented from the brand new 2K restoration of the film by the Hungarian Digital Archive and Film Institute, supervised by the film’s cinematographer János Kende.

• The Evolution of the Long Take – a featurette with János Kende in conversation.

• 16-page booklet featuring a substantial essay by author and film programmer Peter Hames.

• New and improved English subtitle translation.

• World premiere release on Blu-ray.

Elektra, My Love is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Second Run on Monday.

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