tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN June 17, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PDT
you know these images. they are iconic sequences. framed and seen through the lens in ways that changed film making forever all made by the same man. it dnidn't begin in hollywood. it began here. what about his life, his past, his upbringing lead him again and again to look through a piece of glass and make images like these?
did they go? the capital literally divided in two cross roads of eastern and western roads. >> which is buda? >> if you look up to something you're in pest. >> he is a po et and if you're in buda you're in europe and the other side in asia. this is the border of the roman empire originally! why didn't they cross? >> the other side is flat. it is hard over all of these.
subway was in budapest. they want today build places like this because it was a good investment. >> when this cafe was built, there were more than 500 cafes in this neighborhood. and this was the biggest and nicest cafe in the world at the time. never to be closed. >> here, like in most cafes at that time, a few cents or a few bucks could buy you space all day long, sipping your coffee, thinking great thoughts. nobody would hassle you. it was a petri dish of creativity. no hipster neck beard barista would make you feel bad about not speaking any dough. >> waiters were speaking several languages and you read literature and they invited the writer, occasionally, if he didn't have money, because they appreciated their literature. where are we now compared to there? >> don't try that now, of
course. today's new-york cafe patrons spend both their time and money on things like goose liver tegrine. foie gras is all over hungary. and it's goo real good. peter's going for the soup. >> if you looked like a writer, they would bring you paper and ink, bring you a dictionary. also, most people didn't have telephones at home and you could be called here. >> why do i want to attract writers? it's like, i need more jazz musicians on my register. >> it was a different time. it was not simply about the money. >> so it was about -- >> identity. yeah. >> we want to be the place that attracts the best and the brightest. >> yeah. >> even if they don't have money. >> yeah. >> those days will never return. >> yeah, those days will never return.
>> lovely, thank you. >> for the main courses, peter gets the filet of perch. i'm going for the pork throttle stew, mostly because i like the sound of throttle. that is beautiful. that makes me very happy. >> if i were to ask most hungarians, when were the good old days? >> you would have the answer. >> of course, it's not all foie gras and fine wines. there are other pleasures, just as awesome. maybe, maybe even more awesome. like this. plesharda. a smokey, chilly working class joint run for the last 25 years and beloved by locals. >> a long time coming. >> a golden brown pancake happied with chicken livers, covered, nay, drowned with a
rich, deeply satisfying sauce of bone marrow. >> i've got to tell you, this is great. some of you have noticed and complained that i don't really describe food anymore, on the show. this is a deliberate strategy on my part, actually. it's really a lot like writing porn. after you've used the same adjectives over and over, look at it, it's chicken liver, bone marrow, a delicious pancake. is this going to make your life better at all if i describe exactly how while smacking my lips and annoying you? no. it's good. >> venison stew, delicious. and then this. this. >> good -- holy -- really? good lord! this i need a photo of. put a human hand next to it. that's just truly terrifying.
who eats that? >> behold the massiveness, the surf board-sized fried to order in a pan to only the highest standards schnitzel of justice. ride that, baby, all the way home. >> yeah. oh, that's good. extra pork flavor. hints of day-old friar. i could surf this thing back to my hotel. >> i kid you not. this is a testament to a great culture. also gout. but who's counting? >> do i get a t-shirt if i finish this? or my picture on the wall? you won't see these folks at the post office
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daniel matta is here for this. to spread the gospel of meat. hungarian meat-related wisdom in all its delicious, delicious variety. like st. francis of assisi, he wanders the earth, doing good works. in this case, highlighting the ancient arts of butchery, sausage making, and the preparation of many of the lord's creatures. as he, himself, would no doubt like to see them prepared. budapest butchers?eard about >> not much. >> we have about 70 butchers in budapest. >> 70? >> you can find us on a small corner with roasted meats. >> it's very -- >> in five minutes, you can find a butcher where you can eat something. >> and on this particular
corner, one of daniel's favorites. >> so, you are not a butcher. you're not -- >> no, no. >> what is your -- what do you do? >> i am an economist. >> i understand it, you go from butcher shop from butcher shop, investigating butchers. why do you do that? >> because i like it. and i thought, i'm not alone with this. so we should make a fan club. and it started to rise on facebook. nearly 10,000 likes. >> it's so unusual that there are so many. because in france, germany, in the states, the old school butchers who know how to do all of these things, they're disappearing. their kids aren't doing it. >> it's not so easy to be a butcher now in hungary. but with this catering function -- >> doing prepared foods. >> they try to save themselves.
>> yes, there are many boutique cuts of meat available, as one would expect from a master butcher. but then there's this. a field of dreams. a landscape of braised and fried and cured delights that seem, under glass, to go on forever. >> a good hungarian butcher shop, they should be able to cut meat, cure meat, make sausage, and cook preparations as well. >> yeah. >> look at that. there he goes. so beautiful. there's no comparison with a super market. plus, you can ask him, what's good today. >> today -- oh, look, what great timing. they're making one of my favorites. blood sausage. >> you have to say in english, because i can't. >> paprika. >> paprika. >> oregano. >> thyme. marjoram. all spice. >> here comes the rice. >> here comes the blood. >> here comes the blood.
>> beautiful, so good. salt. >> and the sugar. i don't understand why. >> it makes flavors pop. beautiful. >> seasoned and right into the tube. >> dick jokes coming, stand by for dick jokes. >> all right. so what do we have here? oh, that looks good. some nice pickles. braised red cabbage. >> over there, from the mighty shanks of some mythical creature, perhaps, slow braced until the meat is falling off the bone. and let there be blood, delicious, delicious blood, in tube form, served, still steaming, nay, heaving, engorged, as you will, with goodness, to squirt across your plate as you press against it with the side of your fork. >> so delicious. so how often do you do this? >> two or three times a week. >> what distinguishes a good butcher from an okay butcher? >> i myself like all butchers.
>> they're doing good business here. >> that is true. >> yeah? >> i can't tell you which is my favorite butcher. all of them are different. >> right. do you ever just go out for like a salad? >> no. >> i kid, i kid. >> there is another long tradition of artistry here in budapest. we grew up with their works. visual artists, photographers, filmmakers. where did they all go? well, world war i happened and with it, the end of the ostro-hungarian empire. budapest and all europe changed forever. a decades-long wave of immigration began. a stunning number of the world's
great photographers fled their native hungary and took up new lives. eventually, this man joined them. >> i've been shooting photos since i remember i was living. i was 5 or 6 years old when i was taking pictures with my father's kodak camera. the right moment, you have to capture. and that's the difficult part the exact moment. hungarians, there is this need to excel. my father was not really an artist. he was a soccer player. a very good one. he said, son, whatever you do, you have to be the best at it. first, not second, you have to be first. otherwise it's not worth it. >> vilomo zigma. legendary cinematographer.
if you don't know his name, you sure as hell know his work. the oscar-winning "close encounters." "the deer hunter." his absolutely evolutionary work on "mccabe and mrs. miller." "the long good-bye." "deliverance." he created a whole new palette, took crazy risks, changed film language in ways people still try to imitate. and he's making our camera crew very nervous, i can tell you. >> you taught yourself to shoot. >> basically, i always tried to use my father's kodak camera. it's a kidney disease. i was in bed for a month and an uncle of mine gave me a book about a great photographer.
and i started to take just amateur pictures. >> one thing that hasn't changed through the years is the hungarian affection for taking the waters, marinading in thermal baths, a tradition going back to the romans, continued by the ottomans, and something that survived right through two wars and communism. and they do it in style. >> who came here? back in those days? was this reserved for anyone who wanted to could come here? >> well, you know, money wise, everyone before did basically what was cheap. >> right. >> in hungry, we have so many spas. >> there are many bathhouse spas. baroque, elaborately wedding cakes, built atop mineral rich hot springs gurgling from the earth. none more beautiful or storied
than the geller. >> you arrived in budapest around age 21. what was the city like then? >> it was always beautiful. there were ruins after the war. half of the city was still in ruins. >> when you first moved here, you go to film school, what was your average day like other than your studies? what did you do for fun back then? what were your options? >> our options were zero. imagine, through the school, little help from the government. very little money. enough to have breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner.
you had to skip lunch for a pair of socks. so we were very, very poor. but i must say that under this whole four years, the happiest part of my life was i was learning. so i fell in love, immediately. >> in fact, some of vilmos' most powerful and world-changing footage occurred around this time, before leaving hungary, as a film student during the outbreak of revolution. but we'll get to that later.
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in many ways, viloms zigma's career as one of the great photographers in cinematography begins here. about 200 kilometers south of budapest. here he was raised by his father, who worked many jobs to make ends meet. weekends in warmer months all over hungary, wherever there's a river and fish, places like this are thronged with families. and here along the tisza river is no exception.
here, young vilmos and his dad would come and eat the local specialty of fish soup. how old were you when you first came to this place? >> i must have been about 7 years old. you know, my father was really great. those days, years, actually, he didn't have much time, but occasionally, he wanted to take me away, away from work. he loved this place, actually. he loved this, especially this fish. >> that's murky and good-looking and need some bread for this, for sure. >> pike from the river simmered low and slow in a rich fish stock with healthy amount of onions and the near ubiquitous but always good paprika. >> that's good.
>> on the summer, in the side. >> then go swimming in the river. it was a great place. used to be a great place for fun. >> and you know at night, we used to come here at night, when the gypsies were playing music. and i loved that, actually. i always loved gypsy music. they were playing hungarian songs. i had a very happy childhood. good times until, until the war got in and then stopped all that happiness, you know? there was just hard times. >> were you fully aware of how bad, how grave things were? >> near the end of the war, the germans came in and then started to bomb us. and they started to take jews, actually, to work in camps.
that started to be very, very ugly. >> for people of your generation, who grew up, these were incredibly insecure times. psychologically, what do you think that teaches you as far as a world view? do you become more adaptable? do you become more suspicious? do you become more cynical? >> it's about survival, actually. we want to survive as hungarians, to preserve identity as hungarians. so that's what we did. and survived. >> he saw a lot as a young boy, as he would later, as an adult. in 1944, german tanks rolled into hungary. his country was now in the hands of a foreign power. and not for the last time. >> it made me thinking back to my school years. i almost said those were my happiest years of my life.
being under a regime, terrible things happened. we were studying cinematography. being in the film school was like an island of the craziness. >> i grew up in new jersey. my family was sentimental about beautiful pictures, a beautiful script. we saw every film you ever shot and talked about them at the dinner table. these were important. this has got to look pretty close to the way it did in the old day, right? >> oh, yeah. didn't change much. >> through it all for vilmos was this place, however. a very special place for a boy growing up during wartime. the moviehouse where he saw his first films. >> what memorable films did you see in this theater? [ speaking german ] >> my probably best experience in my life, i was in hungary,
see chaplain's "the dictator." >> democracy is fragrant. >> liberty stunk. >> liberty is odious. >> freedom of speech is objectionable. >> chaplain did such a great job, you know. >> some films, of course, resonated more than others. the power of the visual image intensified maybe by what was going on outside that dark room. films could be inspiring, but they could be dangerous. >> it was so magical, to go to a film, especially a dangerous one, one that was just the subject matter and the content was different and to see that just, oh, my god, what do i do with my life now after seeing this? >> this theater, by the way, is now named in his honor.
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like? >> i remember that i was actually scared to death. shooting those, going through there, should be. i found i had to photograph it. things were going from one side to the other side of the danube. >> there were tanks coming across this? >> well, yes, actually. it was a pretty cool, cold day, too. >> yeah. >> not this cold. but it was raining. it was bad weather. it was pretty much, you know, you could see what was happening in budapest. >> after the war, a cold war. hungary now found itself firmly in the grip of the soviet union. germans had been replaced by russian comisars. and their obedient hungarian functionaries. vilmos was now at film school along with his best friend, laszlo.
then in 1956, something amazing happened. >> hated emblems of red tyranny went down as hungarian patriots for ten glorious days sent armored russians which pitted rifles against tanks. >> few blocks away, where the statue of stalin used to be under the first night, actually, when the revolution started, the people wanted to take the statue down. it took about a couple of hours, actually, to cut mr. stalin's legs off. and naturally, the next day, people took pieces home as a souvenir. >> to date, this was something that had never been done. the hungarians took to the
streets. a revolution. that's when vilmos and laszlo and some pals snuck 35 millimeter cameras and film out of their school's equipment room, and at great risk to themselves, joined their countrymen in the streets, documenting the revolt and the aftermath. these images are from some of that historic footage. it seemed for ten glorious days, that freedom had finally come. encouraged by the west and by cia radio broadcasts in particular, the hungarians believed that help was on its way. that this was it. they dug in and fought. hoping to hold out until help arrived. on november 4th, a desperate plea went out over the air waves. >> this is hungary calling. this is hungary calling. for the sake of god and freedom, help hungary. >> the russians had been beaten back for a time, but now they
doubled down with a vengeance, pouring tanks and troops and heavy armor back into budapest and brutally and all too effectively put down the resistance. help never came. >> this is a place where a lot of things happened. used to be the headquarters. i never shot this before, so this is about the first time i'm going to get this building shot. >> so this was the internal secret police, so if someone came at night with a van and he were taken away, you ended up being interrogated here? >> yes. >> secret police headquarters in 1956. the site of a firefight between snipers on the roof, and their fellow citizens below. >> then the people got into the building, went up there, hunted them down and killed them, actually, basically. and hanged them on the streets. >> hung them here. >> hung them on the street there.
it's hard to find a tree which they hung those people up th >> had you see people killed before the revolution? >> no. very tragic moment. >> the building is abandoned. the door, as it turns out, wide open. >> oh, wow. oh, look at that. >> it still feels sad. a little haunted, yeah? >> those were vicious times, you know. people's life was not really important to these people, they were cruel. picking up people at midnight and taking them somewhere.
taking them to siberia. they killed so many people after that time, unfortunately. and they went through the film. people were in trouble, many were killed. 0,000 people, hungarians. >> how long did you stick arnd? >> almost three weeks. and that's when we realized that nothing is going to change. >> you left hungary with a lot of cans of film? >> as much as you could carry. we have just enough money to get to america. ♪ how can we say when you book direct at choicehotels.com you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed? let's say it in a really low voice. carl? lowest price, guaranteed. just stick with badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com
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the soundtrack to old budapest. the ubiquitous gypsy violin. found at one time in every cafe or restaurant. ♪ [ applause ] ♪ >> it's a hard life, that of a professional musician. as true a statement in budapest as anywhere. these guys are budapest bar, an eclectic troupe of extraordinary musicians united by their dedication to that uniquely hungarian crossroads of gypsy and classical music. ♪ ♪
>> so, what does a band do when the hour's late and sustenance and strong drink are required? it's back to the manager flat and his wife, andrea. and they play more music. >> do you be gypsy to play gypsy music? no hesitation. >> he says it's very rare that anybody who's not a gypsy can play gypsy music. in gypsy music, the whole lifestyle, the whole experience is in and kids start learning it when they are 2 or 3. at the time you are 8, you have all these ingredients in your blood. ♪
>> marguite, a household name, also a fantastic cook. extraordinary singing talent does not preclude her from preparing whole perch roasted in bacon, stuffed cabbage filled with goose meat and slow cooked. and of course, the inevitable goulash. the iconic dish you see everywhere, but rarely as good as this. ♪ >> thank you. should i put a little sour cream on there? >> yes. >> beautiful. thank you.
>> she says it's her own special recipe. >> luxurious. if you're a musician and living in budapest right now. this is a good time to be a musician? >> never. >> it's not -- it's not a good time. depend on the view. >> it's very bad for the gypsy musicians generally speaking because it's dead. it's completely -- apart from things like budapest bar, gypsy music is extinct. >> it's heartbreak, is sadness an important part of this music? i mean, hungary is a country that has experienced a lot of heartbreak. >> so it is a lot of heartbreaks.
[ speaking hungarian ] >> richie's wife maria, daughter judith, vilmos' wife susan, friends and family reunite for the best of simple pleasures. we start with a rich carroway and onion and paprika soup finished with homemade croutons and there's a deeply rich and deeply warming beef stew with smoked pork sausage for good measure and cooked for hours and, of course, heavy on the paprika, traditional cucumber salad. to accompany the stew, boiled dumplings. >> our style in photography was not realist.
it's poetic realist. that's what we always thought about that certain photography, emphasizing basically the beauty of the things but also i make it more beautiful than it is. >> why is hungary so strong on photography? >> i think they are very strong in mathematics which was in the early days connected to photography. phil tells me about his education in math. it was totally different. >> very good school. >> that's what i said, the schools in hungary were very, very good. >> this is no kind of an answer to me. you've made some of the most beautiful images we have known in the modern world and you keep telling me i was good in school. i was good in math. >> what would you like to hear? >> i was touched by god, i don't know. i don't know. if you're regularly creating the sublime, i'm looking for a metaphysical answer, i don't know. >> you learn this.
you learn to be an artist. >> so if i would ask you how was dinner? >> so deeply delicious. thank you. oh, really good, really good, wow. >> oh, thank you. >> what a great meal. thank you. >> do we emerge fully formed with a god-given eye? for pictures, images that can move people? or are we the end result of all the things we've seen, all the things we've done, the places we've been, the places, the people we've had to leave behind, all that's happened in your life? is it those things that bring the light or the the darkness to the blank screen? and what about the faces of those we capture in our magic lenses for a minute or a second or an hour? afterwards, should we think about them and where they might be now?