Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky – A londoni férfi AKA The Man from London (2007)

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After 7 years Bela Tarr makes his return with an adaptation of a Georges Simenon’s story. That Tarr has chosen to make an adaptation of a noir novel means that he has chosen to make his own, very unique take on film noir. That in itself has created one of the first rifts that has become evident in the criticism the film has received from fans of Tarr’s previous films. Continue reading Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky – A londoni férfi AKA The Man from London (2007)

Béla Tarr – Sátántangó AKA Satan’s Tango (1994)

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In a small, dilapidated village in 1990s Hungary, life has come to a virtual stand-still. The Autumn rains have started. A few of the villagers expect to receive a large cash payment that evening, and then plan to leave. Some want to abscond earlier with more than their fair share of the money. However they hear that the smooth-talking Irimias, who they thought had died, is returning. They are apprehensive that he will take all their money in one of his grandiose schemes to keep the community going. Continue reading Béla Tarr – Sátántangó AKA Satan’s Tango (1994)

Béla Tarr – A Torinói ló AKA The Turin Horse (2011) (HD)

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SYNOPSIS:
1889.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while travelling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse’s neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse? This film, which is Tarr’s last, follows up this question in a fictionalized story of what occurred. The man who whipped the horse is a rural farmer who makes his living taking on carting jobs into the city with his horse-drawn cart. The horse is old and in very poor health, but does its best to obey its master’s commands. The farmer and his daughter must come to the understanding that it will be unable to go on sustaining their livelihoods. The dying of the horse is the foundation of this tragic tale. Continue reading Béla Tarr – A Torinói ló AKA The Turin Horse (2011) (HD)

Béla Tarr – Családi tüzfészek AKA Family Nest (1979)

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Béla Tarr’s first full length film is a bleak indictment of communist housing policy; A young couple and their daughter are forced to live with the husband’s family in a tiny flat in which tempers frequently flare. The close camera work and grainy documentary style capture the claustrophobia and indignity of life at close quarters with those you don’t like; the father-in-law is a malevolent Iago-esquire figure, forever whispering conspiracies to his son. The couple are desperate to leave, but, as their meetings with the government officials show, there is no prospect of escape for years to come; This is despite many usable flats standing empty, unused for bureaucratic reasons.. We learn more of the characters as the second half of the film effectively becomes a series of monologues, which further convey what a bleak place 1970’s Hungary was. Continue reading Béla Tarr – Családi tüzfészek AKA Family Nest (1979)

Béla Tarr – Szabadgyalog aka The Outsider (1981)

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The central character of Szabadgyalog, nicknamed “Beethoven,” is a violinist who has been kicked out of music school in Debrecen and now makes his living as a disc jockey. The problem of marriage and responsibility again provide a central focus. At the beginning of the film, a woman gives birth to his illegitimate child and he loses his job at a mental hospital. He marries a second woman but their lack of income provokes a crisis in the relationship. Here the couple have a flat and living with parents is one of the options. Will he, his wife asks, be a permanent outsider despite his talents? Eventually, she sleeps with his brother. Continue reading Béla Tarr – Szabadgyalog aka The Outsider (1981)

Béla Tarr – Öszi almanach aka Almanac of the Fall (1984)

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From New York Times Magazine:
Possibly inspired by the existential play No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, this story about five people living in close quarters in a small apartment conveys the same angst as Sartre’s well-known story about the nature of hell. Like the 1962 movie version of the play, Oszi Almanach is also garishly lighted, with scenes red-tinted on one side and blue-tinted on the other. Close-ups show a dermatologist’s interest in skin, an example of the kind of bizarre abstraction that underscores the alienation in this film. A single, older mother owns the apartment, where she is tended by a nurse who has brought along a presumed lover. The sick woman’s son lives there too, constantly thinking about how to get his hands on his mother’s money. The last member of this unhappy family is a former teacher now down on his luck and out of work. The three men and the nurse are dependent on the sick woman, on her money and her apartment, just as she is dependent on them. Yet these individuals are two-faced, scheming, and prone to anger. Unable to break away and leave, at the same time they find no solace in staying — making a difficult two hours of misery for the average viewer to take on without a therapist.
by Eleanor Mannikka Continue reading Béla Tarr – Öszi almanach aka Almanac of the Fall (1984)

Béla Tarr – Panelkapcsolat aka The Prefab People (1982)

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“It’s the rawness of the film that makes us believe we are unquestionably seeing the truth.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A heavy going realistic slice of life domestic drama that is filmed in black and white. It’s a followup to Béla Tarr’s other domestic strife tales Family Nest and The Outsider. This one keys in on marital strife. It’s about a struggling young couple’s confrontations and their own inability to freely communicate with each other. Tarr was evidently influenced by the works of Ranier Werner Fassbinder and John Cassavettes. Continue reading Béla Tarr – Panelkapcsolat aka The Prefab People (1982)