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 »
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.
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.
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
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 »
Apparently what some consider "pretentious rubbish"...
...others find fascinating and beautiful. Yes, it's a Béla Tarr film, and as such, it will contain extremely long shots and a ponderous, deliberate storyline. If that's not your cup of tea, then why bother? Buy a ticket to the next Mission Impossible or Bourne Identity.
This film is Tarr's homage to the film noirs of old. Shot in shadowy, low-key black and white, the story concerns a murder, a recovered briefcase full of money, and a slow descent into despondence and guilt. Miroslav Krobot is wonderfully morose as Maloin, the dock worker who witnesses the murder and retrieves the money, and Tilda Swinton is superb as usual as his high-strung wife, but the real star of the film is the cinematography.
Again, like of all of Tarr's work, this is a stylized, demanding film. The first shot lasted nearly 15 minutes, but within that one shot, we bear witness, along with Maloin, to events that drive the narrative of the film. It's as if, perched high in his railway tower, he's seated alongside us in a theater box, watching a deadly play. For a filmmaker to place so much significance in its visual aesthetics, the camera work has to be expert, and cinematographer Fred Kelemen proves up to the task, painting everything in a brooding chiaroscuro. It truly is a mesmerising, strangely compelling, even somewhat alienating piece of work, and a treat for the viewer who can afford it the patience.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?