After witnessing a crime during his night shift as railway switchman near the docks, a man finds a briefcase full of money. While he and his family step up their living standards, others start looking for the disappeared case.
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 Székely B.
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.
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
Extensive dubbing was necessary in part because the Steadicam operator Marcus Pohlus was audibly panting and weeping in several scenes. 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 »
"Austere, existentialistic and expressionistic..."
Hungarian screenwriter, producer and director Béla Tarr's eight feature film which he co-directed with Hungarian film editor Ágnes Hranitzky and co-wrote with Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai, is an adaptation of the novel "L'homme de Londres" from 1934 by Belgian writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989). It was shot on location in France and Hungary, premiered In competition at the 58th Cannes International Film Festival in 2007, was screened in the Masters section at the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and is a France-Germany-Hungary co-production which was produced by Miriam Zachar, Joachim Von Vietinghoff, Gábor Téni, Christoph Hahnheiser, Paul Saadoun and French producer and chairman of the European Film Academy Humbert Balsan (1954-2005). It tells the story about Maloin, a middle-aged railway signalman imprisoned by his vague prospects who lives in an apartment with his housewife Carmélia and his teenage daughter Henrietta in a port town. One night while Maloni is in his viewing tower, he witnesses a man with a briefcase being killed by another man on the dockside. After seeing the perpetrator leave the scene of the crime, Maloin walks down to the dockside and fetches the briefcase. When he discovers that it is full of English banknotes, he decides to hide it.
Distinctly and precisely directed by Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr, this nuanced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the protagonist's point of view, draws a quiet and incisive portrayal of a family man's internal changes after witnessing a murder. While notable for it's gritty and atmospheric milieu depictions, prominent production design by Ágnes Hranitzky, Jean-Pascal Chalard and Hungarian production designer Lásló Rajk, black-and-white cinematography by German-born cinematographer, film editor, screenwriter and director Fred Kelemen, fine editing by Ágnes Hranitzky and use of sound, this character-driven and narrative-driven crime story depicts an in-depth study of character and contains an efficient score by Hungarian composer Mihály Vig.
This stylistic, dense and significantly atmospheric mystery about a man's moral conflicts and his relationship with his wife and his daughter, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, esoteric characters, rhythmic pace and the fine acting performances by Czech actor Miroslav Krobot, English actress Tilda Swinton and actress Erika Bók. This austere, existentialistic and expressionistic neo-noir where the story at times becomes overshadowed by the cinematic brilliance, is a fascinating though alienating experience.
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