29th Philadelphia Film Festival: ‘Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time’ Reviewed

by Rachel Bellwoar

Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

Written and Directed by Lili Horvát

What if Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was filmed as a psychological thriller instead of a musical comedy?

That’s Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time in a nutshell, though that nutshell doesn’t come close to doing this film justice.

Márta Vizy (Natasha Stork) is a neurosurgeon from Hungary. She’s been in America for years and met János Drexler (Viktor Bodó) at a conference in New Jersey. The way Márta remembers it, they spent the day together and agreed to meet a year later in Budapest (because that approach has always been successful in the movies). While Márta shows up at the agreed time and place, János doesn’t and while she’s able to look him up at the hospital, he says they’ve never met before.

What’s a girl to do? Probably not move into a dingy apartment and take a job at a lesser hospital, but that’s what Márta does. She also starts seeing a therapist, so not all bad decisions, but János is still on her mind. So, what’s the real story? Did she imagine it all or is János the one not telling the truth?

Horvát’s screenplay and Károly Szalai’s editing work hand in hand to make sure that’s not an easy question to answer but, if you’re able to roll with that, it’s a wild movie. One minute János is there, one minute he’s not, and the scene where Márta and János walk on opposite sides of the street reminded me of a similar sequence in Wim Wenders’ masterpiece, Paris, Texas.

The 29th Philadelphia Film Fesitval runs from October 23rd to November 2nd. Click here for the full program.

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