7.8/10
4,578
25 user 24 critic

Damnation (1988)

Kárhozat (original title)
A lonely barfly falls in love with a married bar singer.

Director:

Béla Tarr
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miklós Székely B. Miklós Székely B. ... Karrer
Vali Kerekes Vali Kerekes ... The Singer
Gyula Pauer Gyula Pauer ... Willarsky / bartender
György Cserhalmi ... Sebestyén / singer's husband
Hédi Temessy ... Cloakroom woman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gábor Balogh Gábor Balogh
János Balogh János Balogh
Péter Breznyik Berg Péter Breznyik Berg
Imre Chmelik Imre Chmelik
Zoltán Csorba Zoltán Csorba
József Dénes József Dénes
Zoltán Farkas Zoltán Farkas
Gáspár Ferdinándy Gáspár Ferdinándy
Jenõ Gaál Jenõ Gaál
János 'Dixi' Gémes János 'Dixi' Gémes ... (as János Gémes)
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Storyline

The story of Karrer, a depressed man in love with a married woman (Vali Kerekes) who sings at the local bar, Titanik. He is threatened by her husband and hangs about outside her abysmal apartment building, begging for admittance, and is at one stage successful. But she breaks off their affair, despite her profession of love for him. She wants to improve her life. She dreams of becoming famous, but she herself embodies all of Karrer's hopes and dreams. Karrer is offered smuggling work by Willarsky, the bartender at Titanik. Despite his lack of other prospects, Karrer tries to haggle with Willarsky over his take. Karrer eventually decides to offer the job to the singer's husband, Sebastyen, who has fallen on hard times. This gets him out of the way for a while, but things don't go as he plans with the singer. There's a big, drunken dance, which everyone in town attends (though one demented soul prefers to dance maniacally in the rain outside). Afterwards, one betrayal falls upon another... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary

Language:

Hungarian

Release Date:

20 October 1988 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Damnation See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With "Kárhozat / Damnation", the first of his collaborations with novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Bela Tarr adopts a formally rigorous style, featuring long takes and slow tracking shots of the bleak landscape that surrounds the characters. See more »

Goofs

In the Dance/Party scene, the band and the music are clearly out of sync. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
22 January 2007 | by atysonSee all my reviews

An exceptionally brilliant movie. But this is not for everyone. Beautifully shot in black and white, the director bravely specialises in spectacularly lengthy shots which the viewer's brain will either become absorbed by or reject for tedium. An interesting dimension which can heighten involvement in these long shots (or annoy the hell out the unconvinced) is rhythmical sound - be it cranky machinery (like the relentless mechanical pulley system outside the 'central' character's window) or people dancing to cabaret music. There is a detachment to the camera-work, particularly in the dance band sequences, which reminded me of Kubrick. Again this is an approach which will alienate many viewers but it lends a kind of philosophical power what would otherwise be mundane documentary social observation.

I watched this after the more recent Werckmeister Harmonies on the current double-disc DVD edition available in the UK which is a superb issue and has an interview with the Director as a bonus feature. Interesting to note that he states quite categorically that he intends no allegorical/symbolic element to his work.


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