Simon Magus

Not to be confused with the other recent art film Simon Magus, an English-language fantasy starring Noah Taylor and Ian Holm, this is yet another intriguing – and kooky – feature from one of Europe's most interesting filmmakers, Ildikó Enyedi, who made the better-known My Twentieth Century and the hard-to-find Magic Hunter, one of my favorite films of recent years.

Simon Magus is a magician of sorts, an extremely low-key mystery man from Hungary who has been called to Paris to help solve a recent homicide. After deftly cracking the case (by analyzing the memories of the murder victim's houseplant!), Simon mills about Paris, gently pursuing a beautiful young Parisienne who is unaware that he speaks not a word of French. Meanwhile, his longtime competitor, another magician from Hungary, challenges him to a bizarre duel: who will survive being buried six feet underground for three days.

Enyedi, who played with early Christian legends in Magic Hunter, once again examines the meaning of faith and resurrection in secular terms. Simon Magus is not quite as satisfying as her previous feature, but it's still full of rewards. So although I have no idea where you can see this film, I can at least make you aware of its existence.