A Fascinating Road-Trip through American Cinema, Told by the Cinematographers Who Defined a Generation of Filmmaking.
San Francisco, CA — No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos follows the lives of renowned cinematographers Laszlo Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond from escaping the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary to present day. An Official
Selection of the Cannes Film Festival, James Chressanthis’ NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY will air nationally on the Emmy and Peabody Award winning PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 10PM (check local
As film students in Hungary, Laszlo and Vilmos took to the war-torn streets of Budapest to shoot footage of the Russian invasion, and subsequently volunteered to smuggle it out of the country. Barely escaping with their lives, the two friends fled to America and settled in Hollywood, eventually saving enough money to buy their own 16mm camera.
After working on a string of low-budget horror and biker movies, both men soon rose to prominence in the late 60’s and 70’s, shooting the films that defined what came to be known as the American New Wave: Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, Paper Moon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and more. Working with directors including Robert Altman, Bob Rafelson, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese, they helped create a new American film aesthetic, and pioneered innovative, fearless ways to tell stories.
“When it comes to Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, it’s clear that the American New Wave of the late 1960’s and early ’70s wouldn’t have flowered as it did without them.” – Leonard Maltin
Told through interviews with Laszlo (who died in 2007) and Vilmos, as well as directors including Rafelson, Bogdanovich, John Boorman, Graeme Clifford, Richard Donner, William Richert, Mark Rydell, composer John Williams and actors such as Jon Voight, Peter Fonda, Sandra Bullock, Karen Black, Dennis Hopper and Sharon Stone, NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY is an intimate portrait of two giants of modern imagemaking and their deep bond of brotherhood that transcended every imaginable boundary. Two heroes. One road.
To learn more about the film, visit the NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY interactive companion website (pbs.org/nosubtitlesnecessary) which features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.