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1 review, 4 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"Music. Love. Porn. A Pretty Good Weekend In Budapest With All That Stuff"
4 stars

As a kid taught not to scratch records growing up, I still find myself laughing when someone refers to that screeching club sound as an art form, let alone a musical instrument. To me, it’s no more a musical styling than the cast of Stomp after a chili tasting. The lead character in Mix would vehemently argue against my claims, but his story is not about convincing us otherwise. Instead its background noise to a well-spun coming-of-age tale about (as the tagline states) “Music, Love & Porn.”

Mitch Banko (Alex Weed) is 17 years old and has two great passions in his life: deejaying and masturbation – neither of which he wants his father to find out about. Dad (Janos Kulka) would much rather his son become a classic pianist to whom Mitch placates to varying degrees. Days before his big Julliard audition, word comes about the death of his grandfather, leading father & son to pack up for Budapest to possibly reconcile a torn relationship. Grandma Klara (wonderfully played by Olga Koos) would like nothing more, but her son wants no part of it and leaves in a huff.

Despite Mitch’s more pragmatic contention that Grandma shouldn’t be left alone, he hits the streets that very evening in search of the club that curtails to the gorgeous fetish girls he’s found on the internet. Bea (Dorka Gyllus) is his girl of choice but she is involved with Csaba (Krisztian Kolovratnik) the web pimp “artist” under pressure by the site’s Mafia owner, Zoltan (Peter Rudolf) to produce a porn video with her. (Wonder if he was inspired by the carnival machine designed to grant kids’ wishes to be “Big”?)

Typically we can sense the trouble Mitch is going to get into. Not that he doesn’t, but Mix actually manages to mix it up so that our mind isn’t entirely on what is typical. Bea is the fetish porn girl with a heart of gold, but Gyllus’ intoxicating presence keeps her staunchly independent. Csaba has the greasy scumbag artist look going for him, but there’s real feelings involved, understanding his love for Bea is at stake if their relationship proceeds to forbidden levels. Tension will develop between the three, but there’s enough time to interject an incredibly sweet, burgeoning romance with Mitch and Bea. How many guys will lift his moon trick to woo women after seeing this film?

Writer/Director Steven Lovy serves the story well by not dwelling on any particular statement or aspect of the tagline; each of which deserves an equal billing. He gets strong performances right down the line including Jeffrey Schecter who comically has the ropes down in Budapest and the ravishing Anita Bogozi as Bea’s good friend who refreshingly is not forgotten about in the end. Lovy keeps the drugged-up blurry camera tricks, which are like scripture to films of this realm, to a minimum and uses his exotic locations just sparingly enough to make us curious strangers.

Mix understands eroticism which allows it to be sexy. It clearly knows the rave scene and presents it as a party rather than a clichéd way of life. Most importantly it understands human beings, whom without, the other elements couldn’t exist. There’s respect if not support between father & son and regret if not compassion for the stricken relationship with the only mother either of them have (delivered in a heartbreaking monologue by Koos.) Each character must break through the customs of their old world and into a new one; a little change and challenge only making them stronger. Even someone like myself can grow to appreciating “spinning” a bit. I can always just imagine the records are music I hate if the passion behind them is real.

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originally posted: 06/23/04 14:28:45
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2004 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/25/04 David Phillips By no means perfect, but good gravy, it was alot of fun! I wanna buy a dvd, any1 know how? 5 stars
7/12/04 Celia Pearce A fun and original film with refreshing dynamic range. 5 stars
7/02/04 jutka Great movie cos there are great actors init! 5 stars
6/23/04 daniel ehiwario there is alot to learn, is okay 5 stars
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Directed by
  Steven Lovy

Written by
  Steven Lovy

  Alex Weed
  Jeffrey Schecter
  Janos Kulka
  Dorka Gryllus
  Olga Koos
  Krisztian Kolovratnik

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