Supposed noir elements aside, the final tableau resembles more a Tolstoy morality tale than Tarr.
Reliably ravishing, and with as glacially portentous an opening as one could possibly wish for, The Man From London is nevertheless the least successful of Tarr's major works, a film in which neither Simenon, nor Krasnahorkai, nor Tarr himself is sounded to his depths. An impeccable exercise in style all the same, with at least one never/always-ending shot -- down the alley in which Henriette works, the boy kicking a soccer ball between the walls, the camera creeping towards the sky -- that burned into this viewer’s memory and seems likely to stay there.
While his tradmark long takes, B & W shot, & extreme closeups of people looking desolate remain, this is different from earlier Tarr. There's a comparatively easy to follow plot, Noir genre influence,& political subtext. The actor that played the old intimidating guy was great (I was tense whenever he was on screen) as was everybody. Last 20 min was really intense. I don't get people that think this is a minor work.
A film shrouded in darkness, in mystery - but it’s precisely too elusive, remaining distant as well as becoming increasingly vague a parable; one consequently unable to elicit a deeper response to Tarr’s dosage of nihilism, in the way even his Turin Horse already manages to. Tarr’s mise en scene, in isolation, may be assured, but the work still lacks a persuasive core to viably base its craft around.
Stunning cinematography and if you look beyond the visuals, there is so much behind it. Unfortunately, his second but last film.