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
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 young boy plays an accordion in a shopping mall. Béla Tarr picks up the camera one more time to shoot his very last scene. It is his anger about how refugees are treated in Europe, especially in Hungary.
"Kárhozat / Damnation" tells the story of Karrer (Miklos B. Szekely), a depressed man in love with a married woman (Vali Kerekes) who sings at the local bar, Titanik. The singer has broken 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 (Gyula Pauer), 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 (Gyorgy Cserhalmi), who has fallen on hard times. This gets the husband out of the way for a while, but things don't go as Karrer 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, leaving Karrer in despair, alienated from...Written by
Ulf Kjell Gür
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 »
In the Dance/Party scene, the band and the music are clearly out of sync. See more »
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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