The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 17 - 24, 1998

[Boston Film Festival]

| reviews & features | by movie | by theater | by time and neighborhood | film specials | hot links |

The Witman Boys

Had Kafka been from Budapest, lacked genius and a sense of humor, and been afflicted by morbid Catholicism, he might have come up with a grim and obvious parable like The Witman Boys. Based on a story by Kafka contemporary Géza Csath, director János Szasz's dour descent into psychopathology begins with the sudden death of the title two boys' sturdy burger father. An Oedipal tragedy of sorts unfolds, as their mother (the striking Maia Morgenstern, resembling the Wicked Queen in Sleeping Beauty) takes on a crass lover and her sons -- who resemble Edward Gorey characters -- seek comfort in ceremoniously killing stray animals. When plucking the eyes from an owl (captured from its perch on their father's headstone, no less) fails to do the trick, they turn to the charms of a prostitute, with predictable results. Relentlessly dark both in mood and lighting, the film at its best evokes the poignant spirit of René Clément's brilliant Forbidden Games. For the most part, however, the heavy-handed nihilism and depravity of Boys is merely puerile. Screens at the Copley Place Thursday, September 17 at 5:15, 7:30, and 9:45 p.m., Friday, September 18 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 3:15 p.m., and Sunday, September 20 at 7:15 and 9:30 p.m.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

| The Witman Boys | The Cruise | Confessions of a Sexist Pig | Melting Pot | Pleasantville | Clay Pigeons | Waking Ned Devine | Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane | My Name is Joe | Six Ways to Sunday | The Theory of Flight | A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries | Down in the Delta | Children of Heaven | I Married a Strange Person | 20 Dates | Bandits |

More Boston Film Festival information, film descriptions, and show times

[Movies Footer]

| home page | what's new | search | about the phoenix | feedback |
Copyright © 1997 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.