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Bubble Bath

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Genres: Animation, Musical
Starring: Kornél Gelley, Albert Antalffy, Vera Venzcel, Kati Bontovits
Director: György Kovásznai
Plot Sypnosis:

BUBBLE BATH (HABFÜRDÖ) – 1979, 79 min. Hungarian director György Kovásznai’s wildly idiosyncratic animated musical is one of the most indescribably strange, personal and totally irresistible cartoon features ever made. Shop window decorator Zsolt (voiced by Kornél Gelley, with Albert Antalffy singing) bursts into the apartment of his fiancée’s best friend Anikó (voiced by Vera Venzcel, with Kati Bontovits singing), paralyzed with fear at his impending marriage. Zsolt is like an anxious hippie alley cat, or an Eastern European Frank Zappa in a tux; medical student Anikó a more curvaceous and leggy post-modern Betty Boop – and both unsure of their attraction to each other, of the choices they’ve made, of what life has in store for them. A truly insane and surprisingly sexy mash-up of styles, from 1920s Art Deco to 1960s Psychedelia to late 1970s louche Roxy Music decadence, BUBBLE BATH is incredibly restless and creative, the bohemian love-child of Bill Plympton’s off-kilter individualism and Ralph Bakshi’s wonderfully warped, rubbery visual style. In other words: it’s not quite like any animated film you’ve ever seen before. Sadly, this was director and animator Kovásznai’s only feature film after making a number of brilliant cartoon shorts at Pannónia filmstúdio -- he died of leukemia in 1983 shortly after its release. BUBBLE BATH has been beautifully restored by the National Film Institute in Hungary for its first-ever U.S. release by Deaf Crocodile. In Hungarian with English subtitles.

directed by: György Kovásznai
starring: Kornél Gelley, Albert Antalffy, Vera Venzcel, Kati Bontovits 
1979 / 79 min / 1.37:1 / Hungarian Stereo

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • New commentary track by film historian Samm Deighan
  • New essay by film historian and professor Jennifer Lynde Barker
  • “Interview with BUBBLE BATH Composer János Másik” – 2021, 7 min., dir. Yvonne Kerékgyártó
  • “Restoring BUBBLE BATH” – 2021, 9 min., dir. Yvonne Kerékgyártó. A fascinating look at the restoration of this Hungarian animated classic featuring interviews with György Raduly, director of the National Film Institute and the NFI film archivists
  • 5 Rare Short films by György Kovásznai:
  • Monologue (Monológ) - (1963, 12 min.) – lovely and surreal cut-out animation in a pre-Terry Gilliam / Monty Python style, a wild combination of Victorian imagery and Mod 1960s design
  • Metamorphosis (Átváltozások) - (1964, 7 min.) – Two faces – a woman and a man – blend and change and liquify, reflecting the history of 20th century art
  • Wavelengths (Hullámhosszok) - (1970, 9 min.) - Kovásznai’s abstract masterpiece with hints of Henri Matisse in its depiction of human forms floating in space, set to a surreal soundtrack of radio broadcasts
  • Nights in the Boulevard (Körúti esték) - (1972, 9 min.) - Kovásznai’s stunningly beautiful hand-painted short of a night in the city – poets and lovers in café’s, a constant hum of music and drinks and conversation – done in a gorgeous post-Psychedelic style with hints of YELLOW SUBMARINE and his feature BUBBLE BATH to come
  • A Memory of Summer (A 74-es nyár emléke) - 1974 (1974, 10 min.) – Painted animation at its finest in Kovásznai’s stream-of-consciousness portrait of life in the Summer, color and form and brushstrokes constantly morphing and changing, all driven by a kinetic rock score
  • All of the above short films in Hungarian with English subtitles
  • Blu-ray authoring by David Mackenzie of Fidelity In Motion
  • English subtitles

Release Details

Movie Release Year: 1979
Tech Specs & Release Details

Length: 79
Specs: This special limited edition spot gloss slipcover (designed by Alessa Kreger) is limited to 2,000 units
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s): 1.37:1
Audio Formats: Hungarian Stereo
Subtitles/Captions: English