Title: Thunderbird (Gépmadarak)
Director and Screenplay: Kinga Kulcsár
Photography: Milán Bernáth
Starring: Anna Sáray and the Thunderbird
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Release date: 2009
Thunderbird (Gépmadarak) explores the different stages of the process in which the boundary between reality and the inner, visionary world of a person gradually fades away and disappears. The short film endeavours to unravel the questions concerning the relationship between actuality and illusion, as well as to examine the pliability and interactivity of the separate layers of one’s subconscious. Yet, the film does not present the subject merely as the artistic illustration of an abstract, mysterious idea. It manages to reconcile the complicated concepts with common human experience by relating the story of a little girl who becomes detached from reality and is lost in the uncertain world of her imagination, where she has to face the memories and fears which underlie her everyday conduct and will influence even her future life.
The plot of the film consists of the alternations between the dissimilar, interdependent levels of consciousness. The transitions between the stages of different degrees of reality, the process in which the little girl’s experiences are becoming less and less reliable and familiar, are emphasised by the appearance of additional illusiory and abstract elements in the film, which convey strong dramatic sentiments. As the girl gradually advances towards deeper levels in her psyche, more and more dark and startling scenes appear from her visionary world, which abound in strange, violent and dream-like components.
The peculiar style of the narrative and the unconventional technical settlings prove to be an adequate starting point for developing the complicated psychological theme into motion picture, which enables the film makers to portray the gradual shift between the real and the unreal. The film represents neither a reflected mental progress, nor the deeper understanding of a cognitive transformation. Instead, it intends to grasp the moment in which an individual loses control over her own imagination, and is forced to undergo previously unknown subconscious phenomena. The curious effect of the film derives precisely from the unexpectedness and the overwhelming power with which the mystifying elements and terror emerge, which prevail over the character and lead her to more and more frightful fields within the unexplored world of her visions. The audience will, thus, witness an inner voyage in which the main character steps out into the sphere of irrationality where she gains knowledge of her defencelessness and forlornness.