Tamas and Juli

Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi created this hour-long film for “2000 Seen By,” a French television series that commissioned ten international filmmakers to address the coming millennium. But her story of young love in a remote mining town is less concerned with millennial change than with the predicaments of the moment, as two sweethearts try to arrange a meeting on the night of December 31, 1999. Enyedi (whose feature debut was the magical My 20th Century) communicates romance elliptically, through the lovers’ hesitations, doleful expressions, and broad smiles; their relationship is more innocent–and more emotionally complex–than the lurid exhibitionism of American teen fare like Dawson’s Creek. Enyedi’s offhand intimacy and ability to mix laughter and heartache suggest Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel series and prepare us for an ironic ending straight out of O. Henry, and her imagery underscores the inexorable flow of time in the grimy village. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Monday, September 21, 6:00, 312-443-3737. –Ted Shen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.