7.8/10
4,754
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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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

Karrer plods his way through life in quiet desperation. His environment is drab and rainy and muddy. Eaten up with solitude, his hopelessness would be incurable but for the existence of the Titanik Bar and its beautiful, haunting singer. But the lady is married and Karrer is determined to keep her husband away... Written by Guy Bellinger

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

There is no dialogue until 7 minutes into the film. 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

 
Life on a dark planet
3 April 2008 | by HindinwoodSee all my reviews

Damnation was one of those rare instances when I felt both frustrated and fascinated by the film I was watching. Bela Tarr is SO adept at creating mood that the light sketches of plot began to feel superfluous, and I found myself wanting to brush them away and just float in this surreal sludge without trying to follow a 'story'. Tarr's use of sound design and music to create tension and a dream-like state come closer to David Lynch's than anything else I've seen. The original (I'm assuming) songs in the film also share that distinctive quality of mimicking a certain genre of familiar music, while having something that's a bit off about them - much like Badalamenti's scores. Interesting to note that Blue Velvet was released two years prior. The slowly gliding camera, which seems to have almost it's own agenda aside from the film ads to the purveying sensation of unease, and the exquisite lighting and black and white tones are breathtakingly stark. There are moments in the film when there is so much going on in the scene, and the shot is so lengthy, that the situation itself becomes real and transcends the fiction of the film. This is a very rare phenomenon in film, and was absolutely spellbinding - especially the dance scene. The middle of the film gets heavy with bleak philosophical exchanges, which would be better illustrated than told - especially with Tarr's incredible gift for mis en scene and sound design. Iconographic sequences like the slow pan past the miserable crowds waiting for the rain to stop, or the reoccurring pack of wild dogs speak volumes more of Tarr's theme than the most eloquent words. The characters are like automatons shuffling about in a purgatory from which there is no escape. It is as though the entire world was a flea-bag apartment building, a tattered old bar, and a vast field of mud and debris which one must traverse between the two.


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