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Satantango
(Sátántango)

Screening on Film
Directed by Béla Tarr.
With Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László Lugossy.
Hungary/Germany/Switzerland, 1994, 35mm, black & white, 435 min.
Hungarian with English subtitles.

The apocalyptic impulse of Tarr’s late films finds its fullest expression in his celebrated epic ambiguously structured around the collapse of a remote collective farm and the arrival of a strange messiah figure determined to either save or sacrifice the community to an unknown cause. The bravura tracking shot which opens Sátántangó following a dramatic tide of cattle pouring out across a ramshackle hamlet, introduces nature and the animal kingdom as main protagonists and mysterious voices of the dark animism explored throughout the film’s fascinating seven and a half hours. Describing a peasant land seemingly trapped out of time, Sátántangó is a grand expression of the post-industrial primitivism at the heart of Tarr and Krasznahorkai’s vision, a dizzying neo-Brueghelism. – HG

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The Melancholy Worlds of Béla Tarr

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Melancholy Resistance: The Rainy Worlds of László Krasznahorkai and Béla Tarr

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