The past comes to haunt in Hungary in August 1945 when the inhabitants of a claustrophobic, strangely haunted village are made to feel the disturbing after-effect of recent crimes.
August 12, 1945 and an elderly Orthodox Jewish man and a younger man who might be his son (played by Iván Angelusz and Marcell Nagy respectively) arrive at the railway station of a small village. They see to the transport into the village of their two large trunks which are duly loaded on to a horse-drawn carriage. The men have the option of travelling on board, but they opt to walk into the village. They are told that the walk takes an hour.
So the visitors have all the time in the world. What explains their desire to walk rather than be carried? The walking may be bound up with respect for the dead, or it may even be an element of a burial ritual. The hour-long walk is done in real time, the soft clip clop of the horse pulling their trunks on the carriage sounds like an insistent threat, a bad omen. These might be sins coming home to roost, what goes around comes around.
Meanwhile, the villagers have noticed, word has spread that two mysterious Jewish men have arrived. A simmering panic begins to set in. Have the men been sent by the Pollak family, it is speculated, at least one of whose members were handed over to the Nazis?
Nowadays the Russians are in occupation, and, what’s more, the Jewish men have arrived on the day of a local wedding. The nuptials are those of the only son of the oily, scheming town clerk Szentes István (Péter Rudolf). The hapless young man is to be wed to a local girl but that too is complicated.
The villagers have the smug air of survivors who have got through the war by stealth and guileful strategy. They have a well-fed front of relative prosperity, situated as they are in the middle of vast fields. There is the suggestion of a great bread basket in the middle of the Hungarian plain, with plenty of alcohol, brandy, beer and good food for those who can afford it.
One of the looser implications of this intriguing, stylish film is that the Russians as occupying force will ensure more equality, or at the very least a toppling of feudal structures in the years to come. Or to put it another way, the peasants we see at harvest throughout that tense first hour will no longer serve the landowner.
Ultimately, the villagers’ complacent facade cracks as the past comes to haunt and a kind of anarchy creeps in. The two strangers barely speak throughout the entire film and their mute presence exerts its own solemn retribution. They neither say nor do anything that indicates hostility against the local inhabitants which makes them all the more disturbing.
Marvellously directed and acted, 1945 shows how those who practice deception for their own ends are likely to pay the price and in ways they may not foresee. Shot in black and white by Ferenc Török, the film was adapted from co-screenwriter Gabor T. Szanto's short story The Homecoming. In Hungarian with English subtitles. At the IFI from Friday.
Greene and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra for Dublin
Jenny Greene and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage at the Iveagh Gardens next summer.
The phenomenal live act will play the Dublin venue on Sunday, July 7 2019.
Tickets priced €49.50 go on sale on Monday, December 17 at 10am from Ticketmaster and usual outlets nationwide.
DUBLIN! We are so excited to announce @djjennygreene and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage of Iveagh Gardens this summer on 7 July 2019. 🙌 Tickets go on sale this Monday at 10am! 🎊 pic.twitter.com/nnQlud3WgC
— Aiken Promotions (@aikenpromotions) December 13, 2018
Meanwhile, Greene and the orchestra will return to Live at the Marquee Cork on Friday, June 28 having blown audiences away there last year.
Tickets are on sale now.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!@djjennygreene, @rte_co & @gemma_sugrue return to @LATMofficial on Friday June 28th!
Get your tickets on @TicketmasterIre RIGHT NOW!https://t.co/dljdnahwkC
— RTÉ 2FM (@RTE2fm) December 13, 2018
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EastEnders set revamp goes £27 million over budget
The BBC's project to rebuild the set of EastEnders will now cost £27 million more than originally planned.
The original budget for the refurbishment of the soap's set was fixed at £59.7 million in 2015, but the revised budget is now £86.7 million.
The completion date has been pushed back two-and-a-half years, from October 2020 to May 2023.
A report from the UK's National Audit Office (NAO) said a lack of expertise, over-optimism regarding costs and delays in construction led to the 45% budget increase for the project.
The BBC said the project was "large" and "complex" and added that there had been "challenges on the way".
The project – which is called E20 – will see the original 1984 set of the soap in Hertfordshire being rebuilt and expanded.
The set was only supposed to be used for two years but has lasted for 34. This has led to problems with health and safety, continual investments in refurbishments and the inability to shoot in high-definition due to the decaying set.
"The show remains one of the BBC's flagship programmes and yet is filming from a set that is no longer fit for purpose," the BBC said in a statement.
"The new set will be suitable for HD filming for the first time and extend Walford to better reflect modern East End London.
"It's a large, complex project which has already delivered many other vital improvements at BBC Elstree Centre but like any building work of this scale there have been challenges on the way, including construction market issues beyond our control and from working on a brownfield site.
"As the NAO recognises we've already made improvements and are keeping the project under close scrutiny."
The new EastEnders set will include a "Front Lot" replicating Albert Square and the traditional set, and a "Back Lot", which will include new Walford outdoor locations and will be made to look more like the streets of 21st-century London.
The NAO concluded in its report: "The BBC will not be able to deliver value for money on the E20 programme in the way that it envisaged in 2015.
"Disappointingly, some of the reasons for this were built into E20 at the outset and could have been addressed earlier."
EastEnders airs on RTÉ One and BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
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Catch up on EastEnders on the RTÉ Player.
Bob Dylan and Neil Young announce Irish show
Music legends Bob Dylan and Neil Young have announced a one-off Irish show next July.
Dylan and his band and Young with Promise of the Real will play Kilkenny's Nowlan Park on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Tickets go on sale next Monday, December 17, at 9:00am from outlets nationwide.
The Director of Aiken Promotions, Peter Aiken, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that he expects people to travel from overseas in order to see the concert.
It is one of just two concerts Dylan and Young will headline together this year – they haven't performed together since 1994.
Aiken said the two artists have a proven track record of selling tickets in Ireland and, if you combined the ticket sales of all the shows they have played here, an estimated 800,000 people have gone to see them perform.
"They'll come from everywhere for this, you know," he added.
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Emmerdale star Hardwick proposes to producer Brooks
Emmerdale actress Michelle Hardwick has revealed she proposed to her girlfriend, the soaps's producer Kate Brooks.
The star, who plays Vaness Woodfield on the soap, announced the happy engagement news on Twitter and Instagram.
She posted a black and white photo of them on a balcony with glasses in their hands, writing: "So after months of planning, I popped the question!!!
"She said yes!!!"
Hardwick added emojis of an engagement ring and two brides with the hashtags "#loveislove" and "#noordinaryproposal".
Emmerdale producer Brooks retweeted the message and said: "Thank you for all the love", adding the hashtags "#shedidgood #whataweekend #worthmissingthejunglefor."
Thank you for all the love ❤️ #shedidgood #whataweekend #worthmissingthejunglefor https://t.co/4U6BJuF8Vr
— Kate Brooks (@katebrooks) December 12, 2018
The couple went public with their relationship in October when Hardwick posted pictures of the pair on Instagram on National Coming Out Day.
"It will all work out in the end," she wrote, adding: "#behappy#nationalcomingoutday #loveislove."
Hardwick's on-screen character Vanessa also found happiness recently when she and her girlfriend Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) finally declared their love for one another.
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Keith Richards ‘pulls the plug’ on heavy drinking
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has said he has "pulled the plug" on heavy drinking ahead of his 75th birthday.
The guitarist told Rolling Stone he made the decision a year ago.
"I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it," he said.
Richard admitted he still enjoys "a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer".
"It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff," he continued.
When asked if it was an adjustment, Richards replied: "You can call it that, yeah. But I don't notice any difference really – except for I don't drink. I wasn't feeling [right]. I've done it. I didn't want that anymore."
Richards' fellow Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood, chose sobriety in 2010.
"He's a pleasure to work with," said Richards. "Much more mellow. He's open to more ideas, whereas before I'd kind of grit my teeth and go, 'He's gonna give me some s*** for saying this'. Now, he'll say, 'That's cool, man'."
The Rolling Stones will embark on the North American leg of their No Filter tour in Miami next April.
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