Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Uncanny Coincidence re Satantango

I blog this only as a curiosity. Having translated Satantango I finally sat down with C to watch the seven-and-a-half-hour film over several days. Until now I had only seen clips. The film is as beautiful and brilliant as its fans claim, and ideally I now want to see the lot at a proper cinema on a big screen. The cinematography is astounding. Almost as astounding as, in its own different way, the book upon which it based.

But what astounded me in glancing at the credits were two very strange coincidences. One of the actors, whose voice was dubbed into Hungarian, is Peter Berling, a German doctor in whose Berlin Kreuzberg flat we stayed one very hot summer three or four years ago. A very nice guy, he happened to mention he had done some film acting but didn't say what.

The other strange coincidence is that the Hungarian voice-over is by my Budapest cousin, Mihály Ráday, a very well known television producer and presenter. I thought the voice was faintly familiar. I doubt whether Mihály ever met Peter or vice versa. I am the connection between them and Krasznahorkai.

The really peculiar thing is that the three of us were all concerned in one or other way, with the same book, the other two in its film adaptation.

Well, maybe it's not so odd. And yet. Of all the gin joints in all the world we just happened to walk into Krasznahorkai's.

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