Presented by Arbelos Films
Directed by Marcell Jankovics
World Premiere of Arbelos’ 4K Restoration of this psychedelic animation masterpiece! // Hosted by Distributor David Marriott
László György, Marcell Jankovics
György Cserhalmi, Vera Pap
There was once a king, and he had a wife, and she had three sons… and all was well enough until a broken promise brought ruin to the realm. Raised in secrecy and fortified by the milk of his mother, a mystical horse, a youth of extraordinary strength and great willfulness sets out to defeat the monsters that now rule all. His journey starts well enough when he comes across his brothers, almost his match in might. But not all surprises are so welcome as they go further down the path to — and through — the gates of the underworld.
Award-winning animator Marcell Jankovics helmed 1973’s JOHNNY CORNCOB, Hungary’s first animated feature, but his SON OF THE WHITE MARE (1981) is arguably its best known — and now that the dedicated crew at Arbelos Films have restored its glory right off the camera negatives, Fantasia is thrilled to re-introduce this marvel from a living legend of the craft. A liberated pastiche of an epic poem by the renowned Hungarian writer László Arany, blended with variations on the tale attributed to Scythians, Huns and other ancient folk of the steppes, the films’s source material provided Jankovics with an abundance of profound symbolism to reveal and express, and he did so with both reverence and bold inventiveness. Jankovics’ unique and unmistakable visual style is informed here by folk-art motifs, jazzy geometry, rich pop psychedelia and even the arcade-game zap so fresh on the scene in 1981. He didn’t shy away from the erotic underpinnings of mythology, and doesn’t miss a chance to flaunt his flair for daring and effective design ideas — and all this, while wrestling with the restrictions of a Communist government! A truly exceptional work of animation, SON OF THE WHITE MARE is a wonder to once again behold. – Rupert Bottenberg
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