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Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Budapest. Aired 8-9p ET.
Aired June 14, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't even think about death.
But shooting actually those Russian tanks, you know, going through there and should be.
Anybody who had a camera was shot, immediately by a Russian soldier.
At that time, I didn't think about that. But I felt that I had to photograph them.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: You were alive and holding a camera, at a very important time in history. You had to think, do something important.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very easy to make beautiful, but pictures mean something, (inaudible). But that's totally different story
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: You know these images. You grew up with them. They're burned into your brain. Their iconic sequences, framed, and lift, and seen through the lens in ways that changed filmmaking forever. All made by the same man.
So, who made these beautiful things? Where did he come from? It didn't begin in Hollywood. It began here, in the streets of Budapest.
What about his life, his past, his upbringing, led him again and again to look through a piece of glass and make images like these.
But first, some context, and schnitzel -- did I mention schnitzel?
It's beautiful here. They say that, of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But it is, in fact, almost ludicrously beautiful.
A riot of gorgeous architectural styles, palaces, grand public spaces, former mansions of various princelings, the remains of a long-gone empire still here, still here.
If there was such a thing as building porn, it would be this. Just looking out the window as you drive or trolley by, you think, I want that? Who lives there? Who lived there? What it's like inside? And where did they go?
From high up Gellerd Hill, you get a sense of the layout of the city. Divided, split by the Danube River, Buda on one side, Phest on the other.
Hungary's capital literally divided in two, historically a crossroads of eastern and westerns worlds.
Which is which now? Which is Buda and which is Pest?
PETER SILAHE (PH), BUDAPEST RESIDENT: We are in Buda.
SILAHE (PH): If you can look down, you're always in Buda.
SILAHE (PH): If you look up to something, then you're in Pest.
BOURDAIN: Peter Silahe (ph) is a Budapest born poet and performance artist.
According to the myth I was grows up in, if you are in Buda, you're in Europe and the other side is Asia. This is the border of the Roman Empire, originally, this big river.
BOURDAIN: Right here?
SILAHE (PH): Yeah.
BOURDAIN: Why they didn't cross?
SILAHE (PH): The other -- side is flat, it's hard to defend and there were all these tribes that were vicious and not as civilized as the Romans believed they were.
BOURDAIN: They've all been here, the Silts (ph), the Romans, the Mongols, the Ottoman Turks. All had their way or tried.
[20:05:00] All left their mark to one extent or another.
Then, mid-19th century, the curious, seemingly improbable Austro- Hungarian Empire, this is when the city came into its own, fueled by untold wealth, accumulated power, and ambition. Architecturally, intellectually, a great city, one of the world's greatest.
SILAHE (PH): And that was a time when Budapest was a really progressive metropolis. You know, like the first subway in the continent of Europe was in Budapest. Parliament had, like very sophisticated air-conditioning system. So people wanted to come, they wanted to live here, wanted to start a career, wanted to build places like this, because it was a good investment.
BOURDAIN: The New York Cafe is one of the last remnants of a society where artists and writers were valued citizens, regardless of financial means.
BOURDAIN: 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 that time. Never to be closed.
BOURDAIN: 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.
SILAHE (PH): Waiters were speaking several languages...
SILAHE (PH): ... 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 today?
BOURDAIN: Don't try that now, of course.
Today's New-York Cafe patrons spend both their time and money on things like goose liver terrine, foie gras is all everywhere in Hungary, all over every menu. And it's good, really good.
Peter's (ph) going for the (inaudible), a soup.
SILAHE (PH): If you looked like a writer, they would bring you paper and ink, would bring up a dictionary, whatever you were looking for. Also, most people didn't have telephones at home...
SILAHE (PH): ... and you could be called here, if you get meal.
BOURDAIN: Why do I want to attract writers? It's like, I need more jazz musicians on my restaurant. Can that be...
SILAHE (PH): Yeah...
BOURDAIN: ... put your money there.
SILAHE (PH): It was a different time. It was not simply about the money.
BOURDAIN: So it was about?
SILAHE (PH): Identity. Yeah.
BOURDAIN: We want to be the place that attracts the best and the brightest.
SILAHE (PH): Yeah.
BOURDAIN: Even if they don't have money. SILAHE (PH): Yeah.
BOURDAIN: Those days will never return.
SILAHE (PH): Yeah, those days will never return.
BOURDAIN: Lovely, thank you.
For the main courses, Peter gets the fillet 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?
SILAHE (PH): You would have the answer.
BOURDAIN: Right, is this.
BOURDAIN: 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 (ph), a smokey, chilly working class joint run by (inaudible) for the last 25 years and for obvious reasons beloved by locals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A long time coming my friend.
BOURDAIN: And here is why, look at this. A golden brown pancake pit with chicken livers, covered, nay, drowned with a rich, deeply satisfying sauce of bone marrow.
I've got to tell you, this is great.
You know, some of you have noticed and complained that I don't really describe food anymore, on the show. That's on deliberate strategy on my part, actually. It's really a lot like writing porn, after you've used the same adjectives over and over (inaudible), penthouse letters. Look at it, its chicken livers, bone marrow, paprika, it's a delicious pancake.
This is going to make your life better at all if I describe exactly how while smacking my lips annoying you?
Venison (ph) stew, delicious.
And then this, this.
Good -- holy -- really? Good lord. Geez. 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 surfboard-sized fried to order in a pan to only the highest standards schnitzel of justice.
[20:10:00] Ride that, baby, all the way home.
Yeah. Oh, that's good. Extra pork flavor with hints of day-old friar dish (ph). If the big wave came, I could surf this thing back to my hotel.
I kid you not, this is a testament to a great culture, also Gout (ph), but who's counting?
Do I get a t-shirt if this? Or my picture on the wall?
BOURDAIN: We are, all of us perhaps, called to serve a higher purpose. Put here on earth to do god's mysterious will.
Daniel Matta (ph) is here for this, to spread the gospel of meat, Hungarian meat-related wisdom in all its delicious, delicious variety.
Like Saint 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you heard about Budapest butchers?
BOURDAIN: Not much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have about 70 butchers in Budapest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. In which you can find us on a small corner, we hot meats and roasted meats (inaudible)...
BOURDAIN: It's very...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wherever you are, in five minutes, you can find a butcher where you can eat something.
BOURDAIN: And on this particular corner, Velbaroshi Disznotoros (ph), one of Daniel's (ph) favorites.
[20:15:00] BOURDAIN: So, you are not a butcher?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. no, no.
BOURDAIN: What is your -- what do you do? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an economist.
BOURDAIN: You are economist.
So I understand that you go from butcher shop to butcher shop, investigating all the butchers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, because I...
BOURDAIN: Why do you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I like it. And some, when 11, I saw that I going to look at all with this.
BOURDAIN: So we have -- so butcher make a fan club. And then I started to write them on Facebook a nearly 10,000 likes on Facebook and they (inaudible).
BOURDAIN: It's so unusual that there are so many, because in France, in Germany, in the states, the old school butchers who know how to do all of these things, they're disappearing. You know, their kids aren't doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not easy to be a butcher now in Hungary. But with this catering function...
BOURDAIN: Right. You mean, prepare...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, they try to save themselves.
BOURDAIN: Yes, there are many boutique cuts of meat available, as one would expect from a master butcher. But then there is this, a field of dreams, a landscape of braised, and fried, and cured delights that seem, under glass, to go on forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A good Hungarian butcher shop, they should be able to cut meat, cure meat, make sausage, and cook preparations as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BOURDAIN: Look at that. There he goes, so beautiful. I mean, there's no comparison with a supermarket plus, you could ask...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BOURDAIN: ... him, what's good today.
Today, oh, look, what great timing. They're making one of my favorites, blood sausage.
BOURDAIN: You have to say it in English because I can't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paprika.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marjoram.
BOURDAIN: All spice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes the rice.
BOURDAIN: OK. Here comes the blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here comes the blood.
BOURDAIN: Beautiful, so good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Salt, and the sugar, I don't understand why.
BOURDAIN: It makes flavors pop. Beautiful.
Seasoned and right into the tube.
Big jokes is coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BOURDAIN: Standby for big jokes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god.
BOURDAIN: All right. So what do we have here?
Oh, that looks good, some nice pickles, braced red cabbage.
Over there, from the mighty shanks of some mythical creature, perhaps, of a (inaudible) or delicousorous (ph) at least, slow braised until the meat is falling off the bone. And let there be blood, delicious, delicious blood, in tube form, served, still steaming, nay, heating, engorged, as you will, with goodness, to squirt across your plate as you press against it with the side of your fork.
It's so delicious.
So how often do you do this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two or three times a week.
BOURDAIN: What distinguishes a good butcher from an OK butcher?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually I myself, an old butcher.
BOURDAIN: They're doing good business here. And this is cheap. Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you which butcher is my favorite butcher in universe...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... because all of them is different.
Do you ever just going out for like a salad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
BOURDAIN: 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 Austro- Hungarian Empire. Budapest and all Europe changed forever.
A decades-long wave of emigration began. A stunning number of the world's great photographers fled their native Hungary and took up new lives. Eventually, this man joined them.
VILMOS ZSIGMOND, LEGENDARY CINEMATOGRAPHER: I've been shooting these films since I remember I was living -- I was 5 or 6 years old when I was taking pictures with my father's Kodak camera. To that moment, you have to capture, and that's the difficult part the exact moment of the story.
Now 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, because otherwise it's not worth it.
Vilmos Zsigmond, legendary cinematographer. If for some reason you don't know his name, you sure as hell know his work.
[20:20:00] The Oscar-winning "Close Encounters", "The Dear Hunter", his absolutely revolutionary work on "McCabe and Mrs. Miller", "The Long Goodbye", "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?
ZSIGMOND: Basically, I always tried to use my father's Kodak camera. (Inaudible) six, it's a kidney disease. I was in bed for a month and an uncle of mine gave me a book about Eugene Vilovich (ph) was great photographer. I bought a camera for myself and I started to take just amateur pictures.
BOURDAIN: One thing that hasn't changed through the years is the Hungarian affection for taking the waters, marinating 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?
ZSIGMOND: Well, you know, funny when I did but nobody think (inaudible) so everybody could afford basically it was cheap.
ZSIGMOND: In Hungary, we have so many spas.
BOURDAIN: There are many bathhouse spas. Baroque, elaborately wedding cakes, built atop mineral rich hot springs gurgling from the earth. None more storied than the Geller (ph).
So you arrived in Budapest around age 21.
ZSIGMOND: Age 21.
BOURDAIN: What was the city like then?
ZSIGMOND: It was always beautiful. There were ruins after the war, 1945 I think, half of the city was still in ruins.
BOURDAIN: 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?
ZSIGMOND: Our options were zero. Imagine that we are in the school from little help from the government, very little money, that's good enough to have breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner. You had to skip many lunch to be able to but a pair of socks.
So we were very, very poor. But I must say that under this whole thing, the happiest part of my life, under communist, was when I fell in love, immediately.
BOURDAIN: 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.
BOURDAIN: In many ways, Vilmos Zsigmond's career as one of the great cinematography in film history begins here in Zagat, 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 halaszle, the local specialty of fish soup.
How old were you when you first came to this place?
ZSIGMOND: 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 wants to take me away (inaudible) away from work. So he loved this place, actually. He loved this (inaudible), this fish soup.
BOURDAIN: That's murky 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, right?
ZSIGMOND: As I kid, I love that. Fish taste so good.
BOURDAIN: During the summer, (inaudible) they open the opens and needed side...
ZSIGMOND: Then we go and 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. Everything Hungarian from -- they had a very happy childhood.
It was good time until the war got in and then stopped all that happiness, you know. There was just hard times.
BOURDAIN: Were you fully aware of how bad, how grave things were?
ZSIGMOND: Near the end of the war, the Germans came in and then started to bomb us. And they started to soon take care of Jews, actually, I mean, to work in camps. That started to be very, very ugly.
[20:30:05] BOURDAIN: 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? ZSIGMOND: It's about survival, actually. We want to survive as Hungarians to preserve identity as Hungarians, so that's what we did, we survived.
BOURDAIN: 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, enact for the last time.
ZSIGMOND: And, you know, it made me think back to my school years. I almost say those were the happiest years of my life, being under a terrible regime, terrible things happened all along that. I was (inaudible) studying cinematography.
Being in the film school was like an island of the craziness.
BOURDAIN: 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 is got to look pretty close to the way it is, in the old day, yeah?
ZSIGMOND: Oh, yeah. Doesn't change much.
BOURDAIN: Through it all for Vilmos, there was this place, however, a very special place for a boy growing up during wartime, the movie house where he saw his first films.
So what memorable films did you see in this theater?
ZSIGMOND: My probably best experience in my life, I was in Hungary, see "Chaplin the Dictator".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liberty stunk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liberty is odious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) Stunk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom of speech is objection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZSIGMOND: (Inaudible) Chaplain did such a great job, you know.
BOURDAIN: Some films, of course, resonated more than others, the power of the visual image intensified maybe by what was going on just outside that dark room. Films could be inspiring, but they could be dangerous.
It was so magical to me. I mean, they ought 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 it?
This theater, by the way, is now named in his honor.
BOURDAIN: When you look at footage you took during the revolution, you're not in those pictures, but do you see yourself? I mean, do you remember what it felt like?
ZSIGMOND: I remember that I was actually scared to death. Shooting actually those Russian tanks, you know, going through there, you know, they can shoot me. But I felt that had to photograph it.
Things were going from one side to the other side of the Danube.
BOURDAIN: There were tanks coming across this?
ZSIGMOND: Well, yes, actually. It was a pretty cool, cold day, too.
ZSIGMOND: 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.
BOURDAIN: After the war, a Cold War. Hungary now found itself firmly in the grip of the Soviet Union. Germans had been replaced by Russian commissars and their obedient Hungarian functionaries.
Young Vilmos Zsigmond was now at film school in Budapest learning his craft, along with his best friend who'd also go on to become a legendary cinematographer, Laszlo Kovacs.
Then in 1956, something amazing happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hated emblems of red tyranny went down as Hungarian patriots for ten glorious days sent Russians armored (inaudible) in the struggle which pitted 9in of courage and rifles against tanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZSIGMOND: You know, lots of the -- that 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 actually back in the city, you know, the next day, people took pieces home as a souvenir.
BOURDAIN: 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. A scene 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Hungary calling. This is Hungary calling. For the sake of God and freedom, help Hungary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: 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.
[20:40:05] Help never came.
ZSIGMOND: I mean, this is a place where a lot of things happened. It used to be the secret police headquarters, I never shot this before, so this is about the first time I'm going to get this building shot.
BOURDAIN: 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?
ZSIGMOND: Secret police headquarters in 1956, the site of a fire fight between snipers on the roof, and their fellow citizens below.
ZSIGMOND: Then the people got into the building, went up there, hunted them down and killed them, actually, basically, and hanged them on the streets.
BOURDAIN: Hung them here.
ZSIGMOND: Hung them all over the streets. It's hard to find a tree which they hung those people up there. Had you see people killed before, before the revolution?
ZSIGMOND: No. Very tragic moment.
BOURDAIN: The building is abandoned. The door, as it turns out, wide open. ZSIGMOND: Oh, wow. Oh, look at that.
BOURDAIN: It still feels sad. A little haunted, yeah?
ZSIGMOND: 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 and some of them went to Siberia. They killed so many people after that time, unfortunately (inaudible) they went through the film. People were in trouble and many were killed.
200,000 people left the country at that time, Hungarians.
BOURDAIN: How long did you stick around?
ZSIGMOND: Almost three weeks, and that's when we realized that nothing is going to be change.
BOURDAIN: You left Hungary with a lot of kinds of film?
ZSIGMOND: As much as we could carry. We have just enough money to get to America.
BOURDAIN: The sound track to old Budapest, the ubiquitous gypsy violin, found at one time in every cafe or restaurant.
ZSIGMOND: 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 some sustenance of perhaps some strong drink is required? It's back to the flat lead violinist Robbie (ph) and his manger wife, Andrea (ph). And of course, playing bass, play more music.
Do you have to be gypsy to play gypsy music? No hesitation.
ANDREA (PH): He says it's very rare that anybody who's not a gypsy can play gypsy music.
ANDREA (PH): In gypsy music, the whole lifestyle, the whole experience is in and kids start learning it when they are 2 or 3. By the time you are 8, you have all these ingredients in your blood.
BOURDAIN: Margarite Bongo (ph), basically the Aretha Franklin of Hungarian gypsy music, a household name, also a fantastic cook. Extraordinary singing talent does not preclude her from overseeing a classic line up of dishes like chicken paprikash, 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?
MARGARITE BONGO (PH), ARETHA FRANKLIN OF HUNGARIAN GYPSY MUSIC: Yes.
BOURDAIN: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says it's her own special recipe.
If you're a musician and living in Budapest right now, this is a good time to be a musician?
[20:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not. It's not a good time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.
BOURDAIN: It's heartbreaking. Is sadness an important part of this music?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
BOURDAIN: I mean, Hungary is a country that has experimented a lot of heartbreak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it is a lot of heartbreaks. It's a lot of difficulties, and then...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there is another saying that the violin is crying, that the gypsy violin is crying or -- there is another one that even if we have joy we cry, the Hungarian.
BOURDAIN: Tonight, Vilmos has invited me to the home of his longtime friend and college in the film business, Richie Ram Walter (ph). Vilmos met Richie (ph) on set of a movie more than 20 years ago, and they have been friends and partners ever since. BOURDAIN: Cheers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers.
RICHIE RAM WALTER (PH), VILMOS FRIEND: In Hungary, I would (inaudible).
BOURDAIN: I'll never learn to pronounce that.
Richie's of wife Maria (ph), daughter Judith (ph), 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 marhaporkolta, a deeply rich, deeply warming beef stew with smoked pork sausage mixed in for good measure, cooked slowly for hours and, of course, heavy on the paprika, traditional cucumber salad, to accompany the soup, (inaudible) boiled dumplings.
ZSIGMOND: Our style in photography was not realist, it's called poetic realist. That's what we always thought about that certain photography. Yeah, emphasizing basically the beauty of the things but also I make it more beautiful than it is.
Why is Hungary so strong on photography?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they are very strong in mathematics, which was in the early days connected to photography. Vilmos tells me about his education in math, it was totally different than what I thought.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very good school.
ZSIGMOND: That's what I said, that schools in Hungary were very, very good.
BOURDAIN: This is no kind of an answer to me. You've made some of the most iconically beautiful images that, you know, we've known in the modern world. And you keep telling me, "Well, I was smart in school, I was good at math or, he was a good...
ZSIGMOND: Now tell me, what would you like to hear?
BOURDAIN: I was touched by god. I don't know. If you're regularly creating the sublime, I'm looking for a metaphysical answer, I don't know.
ZSIGMOND: You learn this. You learn to be an artist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So if I would ask you that how was dinner?
BOURDAIN: So deeply delicious. Thank you.
Oh, really good, really good, wow. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, thank you.
BOURDAIN: I'm glad, 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 darkness to the blank screen? And what about the faces of those we capture in our magic lenses for a minute, or second, or an hour?
Afterwards, should we think about them and where they might be now?