Arbelos, a Los Angeles-based boutique film distribution company, has acquired North American rights to the new 4K restoration of Béla Tarr collaborator György Fehér’s landmark but long unseen Hungarian masterpiece “Twilight” (“Szürkület”). The restored version of the film world premiered in the Berlinale’s Classics strand on Monday. Hungary’s National Film Institute handled the sale.
Fehér, who made only two theatrical features, shot the black-and-white film at the end of the 1980s. Based on the crime novella “The Pledge” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, it is the story of a retired detective who uses a girl as bait to try to catch a serial killer.
The 4K restoration, using the original 35mm camera negative and magnetic sound tapes, was carried out at Hungary’s National Film Institute. The color grading was supervised by the film’s cinematographer, Miklós Gurbán.
The film premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival in 1990, and won the Bronze Leopard for Gurbán’s camerawork. Fehér’s other theatrical film was “Passion,” which played in Cannes in 1998 in the Un Certain Regard section.
“‘Twilight’ is a rare and essential gem that’s long been high on the list of titles we’ve hoped to re-release,” Arbelos co-founder Ei Toshinari said. “We’re proud to continue our path-breaking partnership with National Film Institute, bringing restored Hungarian masterpieces to North American audiences.”
Arbelos will launch the film with a theatrical tour in the fall, followed by streaming and special edition Blu-ray releases.
Arbelos also gave 4K releases to Béla Tarr’s “Satantango” (1994) and “Damnation” (1988), Marcell Jankovics’ “Son of the White Mare” (1981) and “Janos Vitez” (1973), Nina Menkes’ “Queen of Diamonds” (1991), and “The Juniper Tree” (1991), starring Björk.
Past releases also include new 4K restorations and re-releases of Dennis Hopper’s “The Last Movie” (1971), Wendell Harris’s “Chameleon Street” (1990) and Toshio Matsumoto’s “Funeral Parade of Roses” (1969).