Day 27- See an art house film



# 62, See three art house films in a theater, 1/3

Today I made a trip to the Laemmle, and saw Son of Saul.

Son of Saul is a 2015 Hungarian film directed by László Nemes and co-written by Nemes and Clara Royer. The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. It won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

I found this description of the film on IMDB:

“Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. (Written by LaoKoon)”

Though the film was difficult to watch, as you might well imagine, it was very creatively shot with a 40 mm lens with an Academy aspect ratio of 1.375:1 (Wikipedia). This made for a very shallow focus and a narrow field of vision. The entire film seems like a moving portrait of the main character and his struggle to survive, even though at one point in the film he futilely, but poignantly says, “We are already dead.”

When my family and I were in Budapest a few years ago, we visited the House of Terror museum, which is housed in the former headquarters of the Nazis and then later, the communist secret police. It was a chilling place to say the least.

It is important to see films and visit places that remind us of how dark and horrifying humanity can be if we allow the wrong people to lead us. We must always, always, fight to preserve the light.

When I left the theater, I decided to make a Hungarian soup for dinner. Across the street from the theater is a Russian deli and market named Rasputin. I called them and they told me that they carry several types of Hungarian sausage.

IMG_6136I found this simple recipe online, at Venturists, a blog from a couple who are traveling the world together.

When I got to the store I was surprised to find that they only carried Hungarian dry sausages, not fresh. Since I only had an hour or so before dinner, I decided to go ahead with the soup and just add some slices of the dry sausage to the cooked soup.


IMG_6127I have good paprikas on hand, so I knew that the flavor would work. I bought a selection of the dry sausages, some carrots, potatoes, and a few other items that I just liked the look of, including plum butter and imported egg noodles.

IMG_6129The soup was just a matter of chopping the vegetables, simmering them in stock, and then adding a roux with sour cream and paprika into the soup. It was simple and quite satisfying. In the picture you will see that I added slices of sausage to the soup. I wouldn’t do that again. It was fine, but I would just prefer to serve the soup with a nice crusty loaf of bread, and a dry sausage on the side for slicing. I will also be on the look out for fresh Hungarian sausage.

IMG_6135The blue portrait plate and the embroidered tablecloth were both purchases I brought back from Hungary. We were there for a few weeks and I know this is going to be a surprise, I had a long LIST of places to see. If you happen to travel to Budapest, and you are interested in food, you should pick up this book, I found it quite helpful. Although, it has been five years since we made the trip and many things may have changed.

I may get tired of traffic and vapid celebrities, but I love Los Angeles. There are adventures everywhere. I can find Hungarian sausages and art house films, minutes away from my house. I might have barely stepped out of my zip code, but I feel as if I’m in another world.

I felt like making the soup today was a small tribute to a beautiful country, a moving film, and a culture that has managed to survive despite its violent history.

338 days to go!



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