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The Cinema of István SzabóVisions of Europe$
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John Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171991

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171991.001.0001

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Being Julia; Relatives; and The Door

(p.117) Chapter Nine Adaptations:
The Cinema of István Szabó

John Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines three films by Hungarian director István Szabó, all of them literary adaptations: Being Julia (2004), Relatives (2006), and The Door (2012). Being Julia is based on Somerset Maugham's 1937 short novel Theatre (dramatized in 1941), Relatives is an adaptation of the 1932 novel Relatives (Rokonok) by the esteemed Hungarian writer Zsigmond Móricz, and The Door was adapted from Magda Szabó's 1987 book The Door (Az ajtó). Being Julia is an example of Szabó's ability to choose the right actor or actress for the part and the way he works with them to bring out their best. In Ronald Harwood's opinion this is the best performance of Jeremy Irons's career, while Annette Benning is simply superb as Julia. Both Relatives and The Door follow the books on which they are based quite closely.

Keywords:   film, István Szabó, Being Julia, Relatives, The Door, Somerset Maugham, novel, Zsigmond Móricz, Magda Szabó, Theatre

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