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
László Nemes ("Son of Saul - 2015) was assistant director. 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 »
The night is quiet, shapes of faint, lifeless forms in the grim perimeters about, the streets lie black and steaming in these alien reaches of a city of curious architecture, much like yours perhaps. This is a world lying in wait, beset by a thing unknown.
When it finally comes it's the hull of a ship, a long vertical shot tracking across a vessel that looks like a bleached bone of a whale washed out on shore. The camera moves three times back and forth on its tracks, as though some kind of ritual must be performed for this to begin.
There's not much plot or story to speak of. A suitcase full of money. A crime committed. Smalltime crooks and an ordinary man in the wrong place the wrong time. The banality of a plot so unmistakeably familiar contrasted with intimate moments, people living some kind of life. Small bursts of life woven into a genre framework so frail and transparent as though to be nonexistent, a form of dramatic percussion to the wandering and the aimlessness. Staccato rhythms throughout the movie abet this, the passage of time. The thumps of a ball on a wall, sounds of billiard from an adjucent room, the slashes of a meat-cleaver, rhythms to which existence can dissipate.
Transfixing and hypnotic, this is the visual equivalent to the albums of drone artists Sunn0))) and their 14 minute monotonous drones. Mostly aural, Tarr's camera ferries us back and forth in these godless corridors, where our only bearing is time.
It doesn't come from anywhere nor goes, it's rather a mantra, whereby repeating it we can concentrate on the texture of the sound itself. And how it reverberates.
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