When you think Oscar (as in the Academy Award), do you think "absurd, ugly, disgusting, surreal, confusing, arcane, difficult, ponderous, and (intermittently) fascinating"? Those words were used by our own Scott Weinberg to describe the Hungarian film Taxidermia. Nonetheless, Taxidermia has been selected as Hungary's submission for best foreign-language Oscar, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film played at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, among others, last year and has received a theatrical release in much of Europe.

Tartan Films holds US distribution rights. Their site describes Taxidermia as "György Pálfi's grotesque tale of three generations of men, including an obese speed eater, an embalmer of gigantic cats, and a man who shoots fire out of his penis." Near the conclusion of his review, Scott Weinberg wrote: "One is tempted to dismiss this experimental piece as a gooey bowl of pretentious arthouse weirdness, but there's no denying that, at least on a purely visual scale, the thing's got some power behind it." Eddie Cockrell of Variety concluded: "The total is much less than the sum of its, uh, parts. Rather, the pic is more like a bigscreen equivalent of children pulling wings off live flies."

The official announcement by the five-member selection committee called director György Pálfi "one of the most talented representatives of the new generation of Hungarian film directors." The film's official site has a trailer and other visuals. From all the evidence presented, I conclude that Hungary has made a very bold choice. Other countries that have announced their submissions for this year's Academy Award consideration include Norway, The Netherlands, Thailand and Austria.