Ágoston, a family man in his fifties, sets on to wander through Eastern Europe with the hope of finding a job and fulfilling his dream of catching a big fish. He ends up in the Baltics,with nothing but sea-salt and wind behind his collar. His journey pulls him deeper and deeper into a swell of bizarre events to finally meet a friendly woman, a Russian acquaintance with unfriendly intensions and a sad earless stufed rabbit. Waves spread over the sand, and retreat slowly.
Original title: OUT
English title: OUT
Countries of origin: Slovak Republic (SK) Hungary (HU) Latvia (LV) Estonia (EE)
Year of production: 2017
Screening formats: DCP 2,39 scope 24fps sound 5.1
Lenght: 88 min
Original language: SlovakHungarianCzech
Color / Black & White: Color
Ágoston Sándor Terhes
Ágoston’s wife Éva Bandor
Eszter Judit Bárdos
secretaryIeva Norvele Kristóf
Gaida Guna Zarina
Gyula Tibor Gáspár
ScriptEszter Horváth Gábor Papp
Director of PhotographyGergely Pohárnok
Production DesignerBranislav Mihálik
ProducersMarek Urban Ferenc Pusztai Jiří Konečný
Co-ProducersAndrea Taschler Ivo Ceplevičs Ivan Ostrochovský Tibor Búza Ondřej Šejnoha
Associate ProducerGuillaume de Seille
In coproduction withKMH Film Endorfilm Mirage Film Film Angels Productions Punkchart Films RTVS FAMU
György Kristóf was born in Slovakia in 1982. Quite early in his life, as a teenager, he moved to Hungary to attend high school during which he worked as a journalist in a local daily newspaper. He spent his later student years studying philosophy at University of Miskolc. There, he discovered his interest in films. To pursue his newly-found passion he worked in AD teams of Hungarian films and big American productions. In 2008, he starts film-studies at FAMU in Prague. There he directed a few short films which were invited to over 50 festivals and awarded several times. In 2011, after finishing BA studies, he moved to Latvia, Riga for a year: there he worked as a Director for TV commercials. He came back to FAMU to study at MA degree and finished his first feature film OUT, selected in Ocial Selection, Un Certain Regard at the 70th Cannes Film Festival
Bunker short (10mn) - 2013
Úsvit (DAWN)short (15mn) - 2011
2mmshort (25mn) - 2010
She-mondocumentary (15 mn) - 2010
Hranice (Borders)short - 2009
Directors intention – Cannes
I have lived through this movie. It is my story, the story of my father and other members of my family. I have travelled through those states, lived in them and many situations were real and happened to me. In some ways, it is a typical story of a guy from a post-socialist country. At the same time, it is very specific in other ways. I wanted to catch the essence of being in this part of the world and capture it, so it will be universally understood. It is the story of a person, who became obsolete, the system could not find a use for him. He takes the fight against an unfulfilling life into his own hands. He searches for himself, a purpose and tries to tilt the windmills into his favor. If he succeeds, is up to the viewer. We are talking about a society, therefore we did not want a psychological social-drama. In the selection of actors and locations, we searched for the right choices. We wanted to capture the exaggeration, so that the humor would resonate from foundation on. Furthermore, we wanted to add depth and substance to it, the mentioned essence of this life in this part of Europe.
Visualization and atmosphere was also a privilege throughout directing this movie, not to mention the sound and musical dramaturgy, which should support the special world of the movie, on the verge of absurdity, reality and poetry.
Ágoston leaves Slovakia for the Baltics in search for a job and to fish, where is this idea coming from?
I was born in Slovakia and most of my family still lives there. The origin of the character, a Hungarian man from Slovakia, is the same as mine. During writing process of the story I was living in Riga, Latvia. The surroundings were inspiring to me, therefore it was clear that I wanted to make a story where somebody is leaving home and arrives in Latvia. It was also my personal journey as I left home in East Slovakia and lived in various places in East Europe. The story became my observation and take on this specific part of Europe. At the beginning I contemplated over a question: if it should be a hero of my age or better somebody older. Later on for personal reasons and dramatic structure purposes it became obvious that protagonist should be of my parent's generation.
Ágoston becomes independent and encounters strange characters. He seems adventurous when his daughter is not. How to define this journey?
Ágoston, the protagonist of OUT, lost his job in his fifties, therefore becoming uncomfortably useless and unapt for society - basically in his situation and age without a place - a social outcast. But over time he sees his situation as an opportunity to get new experiences in his life. This journey actually becomes his fight against the unfulfilled life. I have seen this tragedy in lives of many people, but most of them are not ready to take such radical step. This idea for me served as basis in creating the other characters too. They live closed up in their specific world.
The generation of my parents are in a particular dicult situation: they were in adult age when the communist regime fell down, a new system established. And this new system meant new rules for survival, not everybody could adopt. The social aspects of the story were not my main focus, rather than Ágoston's encounters and his journey which are built deriving from my views on society nowadays, specially in the center and east European post-socialist countries.
Was the script close the final film? Any room for improvisation anywhere?
Compared to the script, the beginning of the film has changed the most. We understood that the main reason for his leaving is he himself, and that we need the minimum social motivation. There was a lot of improvisation during the shooting process. In basics my work with DOP was based on it, and also with actors when building the scene we kept it open for ideas on the spot. The most extreme is probably the dinner with cucumbers in the house of Dmitri. In the script there were just 1 or 2 sentences about it. This scene I did not allow even to be rehearsed - it was straight on improvisation which was filmed as it developed on the spot.
Did you write for Sándor Terhes specifically?
No. I did not have anybody in my mind during the writing of the script. At first I was trying to find a non-actor, just a good specific character, but later I realized it was not a direction I need to take, so we started a longer and in-depth processes of casting. Sándor's characteristics, his approach to the role, his way of acting and thinking, made him as the obvious and best choice.
Images from harbors are very structured when then nature seems to gain much space ;how did you work with your cinematographer?
The most important part for determining the nature and mood of the cinematography was probably the location scouting. We traveled through the countries were we were going to film many times before the shooting. The selection of the locations set up the style of the film. It was important for us that we find places which are strong enough as they are without any specific changes or camera movements and especially have some absurd or comical element within it.
It was also important for us that you cannot recognize any concrete city or place. This helped us to keep film more on a universal level, Before the shooting we agreed just on choice of equipment for the each scene and did not make a shot list or storyboard together. We came on the set, we looked around, then blocked the scene with actors and then decided how weset up the frame.
Why the title Out?
This was one of the first ideas, it's on the very first page of my notebook. It defined the story from the very beginning: A protagonist who is getting more and more "out" from the society...(...but maybe this is necessary for his arriving.)