One of Hungary’s most distinctive directors, György Pálfi, turned to classic sci-fi from Stanislav Lem and, inspired by the novel of the same title, made His Master’s Voice, the story of a journalist who sets off to the US to find his lost father and along the way uncovers mysterious research into voices from outer space. The director of acclaimed films such as Taxidermia and Hukkle, whose latest work Febiofest is showing in its Masters section, collaborated with professional actors for the first time while making it. “It required a little courage. I wasn’t used to it. Now I enjoy such work, however, although at the same time it always strikes me as somewhat weird. I have to work harder for respect among professional actors,” he said.
During a Q&A with viewers Pálfi said His Master’s Voice could be his final movie. “It’s not my choice. I like working. But every year I ask the fund for support, as well as looking for producers elsewhere, and these days it’s not working out well for me,” the filmmaker revealed. His latest picture was made against the wishes of the influential producer and Hungarian National Film Fund chief Andy Vajna, who died in January this year. “Vajna didn’t like authorial cinema. He wanted to make commercial movies for viewers. But when you wanted a little money from the fund he left the decision to a commission. The most successful Hungarian films of recent years, such as Son of Saul and On Body and Soul, were actually made despite Vajna,” Pálfi said.