PLOT: 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 »
BrandonHabes on letterboxd wrote:
Raw, unpolished social realism preoccupied with loners on the margins of communist Hungary. Tarr returns to the documentary, free-floating style of FAMILY NEST (1979) to examine working class lives struggling to sustain employment, relationships, and economic stability. The family is once again centered as the object of disintegration. One man’s need for family, and his inability to locate it through personal, corporate and artistic spaces, reflects a fatalistic vision of the family, the individual, as well the society that groomed them.Read More »
BrandtSponseller on imdb wrote:
Családi tüzfészek (aka Family Nest) is an intimate portrayal of a family slowly disintegrating under various pressures in late 1970s communist Hungary. The plot of the film is deceptively simple, with the occasional momentous event–including one that’s relatively shocking, but plot in a conventional sense is not the focus here.
What makes Family Nest so masterful is director writer/director Béla Tarr’s skill at suggesting layers of emotion, commentary and meaning through cinematography and staging. For example, early in the film there is an extended scene of the family that is the film’s focus eating dinner in their crowded apartment with some friends. Tarr has the camera crammed in a small room with the cast, necessitating that almost the entire scene is shot in close-ups. Read More »
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 »
Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began his career making social realist domestic dramas, similar to the work of John Cassavetes. The feature before Damnation, Almanac of Fall, showed Tarr moving toward a more visually stylized form of filmmaking. With Damnation, the first of his collaborations with novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Tarr adopts a formally rigorous style, featuring long takes and slow tracking shots of the bleak landscape that surrounds the characters. Shot in black-and-white, Damnation tells the story of Karrer (Miklos B. Szekely), a depressed man in love with a married woman (Vali Kerekes) who sings at the local bar, Titanik. The singer has broken off their affair, despite her profession of love for him.Read More »
Damnation tells the story of Karrer (Miklós B. Székely), a depressed man in love with a married torch singer (Vali Kerekes) from a local bar, the Titanik. The singer breaks off their affair, because she dreams of becoming famous. Karrer is offered smuggling work by Willarsky (Gyula Pauer), a local bartender. Karrer offers the job to the singer’s husband, Sebestyén (György Cserhalmi). This gets him out of the way, but things don’t go as Karrer plans. Betrayals follow. Karrer despairs.Read More »
2001-2010Ágnes HranitzkyArthouseBéla TarrDramaHungary
After witnessing a crime during his night shift as railway switchman near the docks, a man finds a briefcase full of money. While he and his family step up their living standards, others start looking for the disappeared case.
Sight and Sound wrote:
Béla Tarr’s latest film may initially appear to be his most conventional work to date, but the Hungarian director hasn’t softened his uncompromising worldview in ‘The Man from London’.By Michael Brooke
The extinction of the aesthetically and intellectually rigorous European art film has been predicted for so long (in the early 1980s, a Sight & Sound columnist called for the creation of a Society for the Protection of the Art Movie) that the mere fact of Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr continuing to direct films without making the smallest concession to popular fashion is a cause for celebration.Read More »
2001-2010Ágnes HranitzkyArthouseBéla TarrCrimeHungary
Maloin leads a simple life without prospects at the edge of the infinite sea; he barely notices the world around him, has already accepted the slow and inevitable deterioration of life around him and his all but complete loneliness.
When he becomes a witness to a murder, his life takes a sudden turn.
He comes face to face with issues of morality, sin, punishment, the line between innocence and complicity in a crime, and this state of scepsis leads him to the ontological question of the meaning and worth of existence.Read More »
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 »