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
Bela Tarr - I could clearly imagine the port, but since Hungary's have no port at any sea, I had to go out and search of a suitable location and settled on the old port of Bastia in Corsica. 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 »
If you are FRench ,first thing to bear in mind is that this is the second version of Georges Simenon's novel .This is not to say it's a "remake" for the two versions are as different as they can be.But it must be written that Henry Decoin's movie(1) was made in the darkest hour of the Occupation in 1943 ,and produced by the Continental ,a German firm ,so the writers had to deal with the censorship.What am I driving at?simply that at the time,there was no need to create a nightmarish atmosphere (although Decoin succeeded in doing so) for the nightmare was all around.
Compared to the "modern" version ,the old one may seem conventional (but please give it a try if you can ) .This one looks like a nightmare with its stark black and white ,its interminable fixed shots ,its lugubrious music -sometimes a simple accordion tune looks like Tangerine Dream or even Nico music - its actors whose performances are so overblown it's almost unbearable .The movie is very long and I must admit that ,If I did not know the plot,I would have got lost since the first reel.The lines are few and far between and it sometimes recalls films of the silent age this side of German Expressionismus.Bela Tarr refuses any suspense ,any show (the scene in the cabin by the sea is revealing:close shot on a padlock).The atmosphere is much more important than the detective story ;even the social comment which was present in Decoin's movie (If only my son could get into Ecole Polytechnique) gets totally lost in the treatment, deliberately so of course ;this man does not really want to get by ,his wife is a shrew ,his daughter is ugly and all the furs in the world can't change that .The characters melt into the background .
(1) "L'Homme De Londres"
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