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.
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You wouldn't praise Damnation without reference to its immense photographic qualities, drab and with all the adjectives you might use describing post-rock albums. I can't reconcile this complex industrial beauty with the fleeting humanity seen on screen, lacking any spark of decency. There is a mid-film monologue which drained my sympathies - I left this brand of existential angst at university.
This is the beginning of the style he would use until the end of his career. It features long takes and beautiful black and white photography. The film starts out in the narrative realm, and then becomes more about mood as the camera takes on some of the characteristics of the main character.
Showcasing Tarr's transition from apprentice to master. The film displays practice of new aesthetic forms and thematic vision which would be later realized in full with the 7hr masterpiece Satantango and his magnum opus Werckmeister Harmonies.
88/100 - Excellent.
re-rating. What almost 10 years ago seemed to be of an unusual order and density, now, again a film projection, appeared to be rhetorical and of a tiring dynamic thinking, constantly reiterated and underlined - the dialogues are, mostly, illustrative. The slow traveling shots that seemed to be builders of a mental space are now redundant and mere reiterative descriptors of a narrative processuality.
tarr's framing provides an interesting cinematic construction again. makes me wonder, where this film actually happens? between frames or in a frame that is just left behind us (right or left, depends from where camera begins). tricky thing is that he never really leaves the frame, we're reminded of it by the sound (baby's crying) or the mirror and when he's back to it again nothing changed. so, not only i wander
It reminded me a lot of Stalker in the way both films made such wretched locations so compelling to look at, and the spaced-out narrative is in perfect harmony with the overall tone of grief and desolation. It demands patience though, but if you're willing to give it a chance you won't regret it.
Finally got around to experiencing the collective international fangasm that is Bela Tarr. He is good: utilizing ambient sound collages with long takes, he is able to bring the viewer right into the introspective nature of his movies. Philosophical dilemmas populate the foreground in dialog while the actual story and visual narrative happens in the background. He learned a lot from Tarkovsky.