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 ...
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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".
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
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.
A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... See full summary »
Revisits of locations on the Great Hungarian Plain - the puszta - that were used in Tarr's Sátántangó and Werckmeister harmóniák. Recitations of short lyric poems by Hungary's national poet Sándor Petofi. The film is shot in color.
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 control room on top of a high iron traverse from where he can see the whole bay. Suddenly he notices that the first of the disembarking passengers, a tall thin figure (a certain Brown as it will turn out later) leaves the harbor, but not on the usual route: after getting through customs, he goes around the dock and then withdraws into a dark corner, waiting. Opposite him, in front of the ship, another man soon appears and throws a suitcase towards the man on the shore. He goes and picks it up, then waits in an dark corner for the other man to join him. When he arrives, however, they begin to quarrel and finally, in the course of the vehement fight, due to a hit that turns out to be fatal, the shorter one falls in the water and sinks, clutching the suitcase in his hand. Maloin is watching the scene, ... Written by
The suicide of producer Humbert Balsan on 10 February 2005 prompted director Béla Tarr to shut down production of this film, after disputes with the other producers over a possible change in the film's financing. See more »
When Maloin and the bartender set up the chessboard and pieces for their daily game, they place the board with a black square in the lower right corner. (The baseball equivalent would be to have the catcher and batter set up at first base instead of home plate!) See more »
I hadn't seen a film by Bela Tarr before, and at first I was put off by the slow, deliberate style - the first scene took about 15 minutes and was agonizingly slow. The whole picture moved at the same lethargic pace and I thought it was remindful of an Ingmar Bergman film. I never felt comfortable with Bergman as I thought his style pretentious, but I got a different feeling from watching "The Man From London".
The slow pace, as in the languid opening shot, accentuates the prevailing mood of the film, and lends motivation (or lack of) to the protagonist Maloin. He is a simple man who has resigned himself to his fate, a boring, tedious existence as a night watchman with a shrewish wife (Tilda Swinton, in a role that is too small), until his life is turned upside down when he witnesses a murder from his watchtower. The picture is full of long, lingering closeups and long shots and the characters speak in the same deliberate manner as the pacing of the film.
I suppose if he had wanted to, Tarr could have edited out about 30 minutes of film to speed it up, but he would have ruined the overall effect of the picture, which exemplifies the predominant mental state of Maloin and the struggle with his conscience that has thrown his life into chaos. You have probably seen films you would like better but you have never seen one as offbeat or as memorable as "The Man From London". Serious movie fans ought to include this one in their respective film canons - it is very worth seeing will certainly throw your list into disarray.
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