Béla Tarr

Béla Tarr – Kárhozat AKA Damnation [Artificial Eye] (1988)

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Kárhozat is close to being a genre film in its story of love and betrayal, a theme that Tarr has described as being very simple—even “primitive.” Karrer lives a withdrawn life in a mining community where his evenings all end up in the Titanik bar. He is offered a smuggling job by the bar’s owner but passes it on to Sebestyén, husband of the singer at the bar. In Sebestyén’s absence, Karrer and the wife sleep together and Karrer seeks a lasting relationship. He considers denouncing Sebestyén to the police. On Sebestyén’s return, there is a confrontation between the two men and the bar owner takes the woman to his car, where they have sex. The next day, Karrer denounces them all. In the final scene, Karrer approaches a waste tip in the pouring rain where he confronts a barking dog. Getting down onto his hands and knees, he barks at it until it is forced into retreat. Read More »

Béla Tarr – Öszi almanach AKA Almanac of Fall (1984)

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Hédi is the wealthy landlady of a house in which resides her money-demanding son János, her nurse Anna and Anna’s boyfriend Miklós, and the elderly and financially troubled teacher Tibor. A large, claustrophobic apartment is the setting for this intense chamber drama that is one of Béla Tarr’s most revered films. In this dense setting, the inhabitants of the apartment reveal their darkest secrets, fears, obsessions and hostilities. Read More »

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. Read More »

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. Read More »

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. Read More »

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. Read More »

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. Read More »