A thread like this may already exist somewhere, but I was too lazy to look.
I just finished watching my first Bela Tarr film, Almanac of Fall, and I feel that I may be at the beginning of a life long love affair with this guy’s work, just maybe.
Almanac of Fall was gorgeous, like a A Long Day’s Journey Into the Aurora Borealis.
Besides the mammoth Satantango, which of Tarr’s films should I watch next?
And how would you recommend a Tarr film to a friend who has never heard of him?
Besides the obvious Werckmeister Harmonies, I’d recommend Family Nest and Damnation.
Before I recommended a Tarr film to someone I would test the waters with someone like Tarkovsky.
Damnation or Werckmeister Harmonies would probably be the best next step. After that, I highly recommend trying to watch Sátántangó in one day.
I agree with Jirin. Someone would need to be ok with medium-slow paced films such as those by Tarkovsky or Bresson before moving onto the slow pace of Tarr.
After exploring Tarr, I would highly recommend watching Miklós Jancsó’s 60’s period works, such as The Red and the White, or The Round-Up. His influence on Tarr’s visual style is very evident (although Tarr would deny this).
I see how Tarkovsky could prepare a viewer for a Tarr film, but that just begs the question of how one recommends both Tarkovsky and Tarr.
For myself, I came across Tarkovsky by pure accident. I rented a library copy of Stalker. Only later did I find out that this beautiful film was made by internationally acclaimed director. Five films later and he’s one of my favorite artist.
And I found out about Tarr because I was goggling Susan Sontag, and her praise of Tarr intrigued me. But quotes of praise can only go so far, especially if the author means nothing to the person you want to give the recommendation to.
I knew Tarkovsky when I approached a guy that was selling all his DVDs at a market and asked if he had any Kurosawas left. He said that he had sold them all, but recommended me Tarkovsky, The Mirror. And well, I guess you all can infer what happened later.
About Tarr I have only watched his adaptation of Macbeth on the last Directors’ Cup. On technical aspects, the man showed being a god in this film, but I have to say I didn’t like it that much.
However, I’m going to watch The Turin Horse tomorrow at the cinema, and hope will walk out of the theatre wanting to see more of his work. (: