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Alex Udvary

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My name is Alex Udvary. From as far back as I can remember I have always been a avid movie lover. My earliest memories are around the age of three or four. At that time, despite coming from a Hungarian family, it was American films which enthralled me. Particularly American films from the 1920s-1940s.

My childhood heroes were Laurel & Hardy. I became a very big fan of slapstick comedy and early talking comedies. Besides Laurel & Hardy, I would also watch the Marx Brothers, though I would be much older until I really started to appreciate them. The same can also be said of W.C. Fields. I liked Harold Lloyd very much and Bob Hope.

But comedies weren't my only interest. I also enjoyed musicals. especially those with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I remember the first time I saw Fred Astaire in "Royal Wedding". At that time I would confuse Astaire for Stan Laurel. So as I'm watching him, I start to wonder where's Oliver Hardy? Pretty soon Fred Astaire is singing and dancing, even on ceilings and walls. Now, most people would think well, clearly that is not Stan Laurel. Not me. I thought, wow, look how talented Stan Laurel is. He tells jokes, sings, dance. Is there no end to what he can do?

I developed my love of movies from my grandmother. She would watch AMC, back in the days when they played good movies. And I would also sit with her as she explained who all the stars were. I watched so many movies with her that by the time I started school I already knew who Greta Garbo was, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, Buster Keaton, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and many others.

By the time I was a teenager I knew I wanted to become a filmmaker. I wanted to make the kind of moviees I grew up watching and enjoyed. My biggest comedy inspirations were Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Leo McCarey and Chaplin, whom I regard as the greatest comedy director of all time. But I also enjoye more serious works. Ingmar Bergman is my favorite director. And my favorite movie is not a comedy but the Italian neo-realism classic, "The Bicycle Thief".

I went to Columbia College, at first hoping to get a degree in journalism. I wanted to have a degree in a back-up, incase films didn't work out. But eventually I switched my major and studied film. My concentration being film theory. I still want to make movies but I do take great pleasure writing about films and introducing people to movie stars and films they may not have heard of.



Alex Udvary


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