Fate of trams: a role in Fateless 1.

Lajos Koltai is the director of the film Fateless which is based upon the Nobel prize winning novel by Imre Kertész. What is the reason this statement is written on a homepage about trams anyway? Because there are scenes with trams in it! Due to the film is playing in the era of the II. World War, the filmmakers needed really special cars. This means that the tramwayfans in Budapest got a nice present in the early weeks of 2004.

31st January: our first shooting location is in the Festetics György utca (street) nearby the Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station), our vehicle is not other than the Lörinc Twin dating back to 1911, which are the wooden-chassis, ten-window twin cars no. 21 and 22 of the late Budapest - Szent-Lörinc Local Electric Railways BLVV (Budapest Szent-Lőrinci Helyi Érdekű Villamos Vasút). You can find more informations about them here.

Shooting halt. Every one stands in the starting position and they wait for the next shot. In the background a trolleybus on line 80 passes by gently.

Take... manyhundred-thirtyfour! Well, if you work with a single camera, you want the scene to be played many times one after another, to have enough material for the editing. :-)) Or am I just too ironic? :-)

Then, towards the end of the scene, when most of the dummies cleared off in front of the tramcar, a great view opened for me.

And another shot again. The horsemen knew the most easily where they had to stand up for the start, their place had been marked. :-) And this is how it went on and on...

Meanwhile line 24 has been detoured to the Blaha Lujza tér instead of the normal Baross tér for a half day. Of course, BKV hasn't made any information tables for the vehicles regarding the new terminus :-(, this is how anyone can see how great the terminus displays of the ex-Hannover TW 6000's are: you can show any terminus name together with any tramway line number.

Right in the nick of time I arrived back at Festetics, the shooting was over and the old tramcar has just departed back to Ferencváros depot. Afterwards I followed it by a normal tram on line 24.

Thank God they didn't hurry with going back to the depot, first they went to Közvágóhíd terminus to change direction then they came back en route Haller utca-Mester utca. I caught them at the Vágóhíd utca-Mester utca corner.

Another day, another location: I was heading to Újpest district. Line 12 was not operated all day and line 14 was shortened, it had its temporary terminus here at Angyalföld depot. Wow, I haven't seen any trams yet in this direction on these switches, they are normally used by the line 12 in the opposite direction!

But at least the smarter have found out that rolling the terminus display half way between the descriptions of line 12 and 14, they can adapt the avaible devices to show the correct terminus descriptions. :-)

First of February. Today's shooting takes place at the István út-Görgey Artúr utca corner. We have a new player today beside the Lörinc Twin: motor car no. 436...

...as well as old cars. I was only able to recognize the maker of this car by its spare wheel hubcap with the well-known Mercedes sign.

No. 436 was the motor car type L of the late Budapest Urban Electric Railway BVVV (Budapesti Városi Villamos Vasút), built in 1913. This is only a prop today, while yesterday's props, the twincars are active players this time.

It passed the cameras... I'm sorry, the only camera by, towards Újpest-Központ, several, maybe fifty to a hundred times. :-) Then switching the pantographs... (or perhaps only electric collectors) to go back to the starting position, changing collectors again, changing direction again, and shootings again.

I made this photo in a cold, cloudy, winter morning in 1944. Oh no, I wasn't so smart: what is that smoke-developer over there?!? And that aerial?!? And that housing estate?!? Well, now I see, I'm sure there will be enough slip-ups in this film. :-))

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Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2004

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