An innocent young man witnesses violence breaks out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions, a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince".
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.
One night Maloin, a switchman at a seaside railway station situated by a ferry harbor, witnesses a terrible event. He is just watching the arrival of the last ferry at night from his ... See full summary »
A large, claustrophobic apartment is the setting for this intense chamber drama. In this dense setting, the inhabitants of the apartment reveal their darkest secrets, fears, obsessions and hostilities.
Miklós B. Székely
This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain. In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost. It is bitterly cold weather - without snow. Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus trailer, which is put up in the main square, to see - as the outcome of their wait - the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale. The people are coming from everywhere. From the neighboring settlings, even from quite far away parts of the country. They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd. This strange state of affairs - the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost - disturbs the order of the small town. Aambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation. The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose destructive emotions.... Written by
Janos finds Lajos, who is supposedly dead, yet you can clearly see the actor breathing. See more »
I have to make it clear that not even for a moment is there doubt that it is not a technical but a philosophical question. So that the tonal system in question, through researches, has led us inevitably to a test of faith, in which we ask: on what do we base our belief that this harmony, the core of every masterpiece, referring to its own irrevocability, actually exists or not. From this it follows that we should speak of, not research into music, but a unique realization of non-music which for...
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This is as bleak a film as I have since for a long time. Seen mainly through the eyes of a 'holy fool', played by German Lars Rudolph, it may be allegorical, it may be a horror story or it might even be a distinctively Hungarian very black comedy.
Bela Tarr's direction is stunning. The lighting is brilliant throughout, but none more so than when the circus comes to town in the middle of the night. The care and patience with which scenes are built greatly enhances the intensity of the most violent moments. The scene, for example, when a mob march down a long street before attacking a hospital matches the greatest moments of black-&-white silent cinema.
The film retains a disturbing ambiguity throughout, right up to its powerful ending. What is the significance of the whale and its owners? And is Valuska (Lars Rudolph) as innocent as it seems on the surface? The result is a long (140 minutes), gripping and exciting film that leaves more questions than answers at the end.
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