Gloomy Sunday | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

"Gloomy Sunday" is an apparently real Hungarian song whose melody was so affecting that it caused suicides among listeners in the early 20th century. Rolf Schübel's Gloomy Sunday is a somewhat less real but nonetheless absorbing story of the song's piano-playing composer, the Jewish owner of the restaurant where the pianist performs, and the woman named Ilona they both love -- for her beauty if for nothing else the film makes apparent. Their story is further complicated by the coming of World War II and the machinations of a German citizen also in love with Ilona. After the restaurateur saves the German from his despair (Ilona rejects him), the German vows to return the favor. But he returns later as a Nazi colonel. Gloomy Sunday resembles Francois Truffaut's Jules et Jim or even its American remake, Paul Mazursky's Willie and Phil -- to a point. That point, of course, is the advent of the Holocaust. It turns an ultimately unbelievable story (two men willing to share a woman's affections without killing each other) into an all-too-believable intrigue that gives the love story its meaning. In German with subtitles.Three cameras

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