“Perpetual Motion” by Béla Vajda

Moto Perpetuo (Perpetual Motion) by Béla Vajda (1935-2011) is a Hungarian short that won the Palme d’Or at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. It offers a terrific visual concept, sprightly animation, and funny gags throughout. The Hungarian website Daazo writes that the film “shows an absurd picture of our neverending changing culture and history. With its critical view of life, this film was probably a perfect mirror of a Central-European, Soviet country in 1982.” It also offers a terrifically inappropriate John Lennon gag, just a few months after he was murdered.


  • Chris Sobieniak

    Yeah I could live without the John Lennon bit (surprised they didn’t just splice it out completely since you wouldn’t lose too much of the soundtrack anyway), still the “Barking Dogs” made up for it!

    Nice to see stuff like this once in a while. That thing by the way that the short is centered on is a “paternoster”, not an elevator though it operates like one. They were common in many European countries for over a century but had fallen out of favor and removed due to their handicap inaccessibility and other safety issues.

  • http://909pop.com Mike Scott

    This is like one of my bad-looping-dream nightmares I have from time to time.

  • Julian Carter

    Many times throughout the short, the framing felt tight or off (at one moment I was almost going to scroll to the right using my mouse to reframe the action. Obviously, being a video, there was no scroll bar to do this).

    Was this deliberate? I kind of felt like I was being cheekily teased.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Can’t say if it’s the embed window alone that’s doing that. I felt I saw everything find on my end.