The Prefab People

Screening on Film
Directed by Béla Tarr.
With Róbert Koltai, Judit Pógany, Gábor Koltai.
Hungary, 1982, 35mm, black & white, 82 min.
Hungarian with English subtitles.

In his first film using professional actors, Tarr perfects his documentary-style social dramas in this study of a marriage in permanent decomposition. A middle-class couple’s daily clashes range from the uncomfortable comedy of their ninth anniversary celebration – with his gifts of hairspray, a mug and a bottle of liquor – to an exquisitely restrained scene in a night club where an unspoken procession of emotions details the stubbornly-maintained chasm between them. Further realized in cleverly ambiguous editing, their vicious cycle continues indefinitely through an ending – recalling that of The Graduate  – which suggests the mass production of the modern, damaged family unit. – BG

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The Melancholy Worlds of Béla Tarr

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