ok, serious question here guys/girls – 7.5 hours. is it really worth it? I know it’s meant to be a great film but 7.5 hours is a huge time and emotional investment. Originally i was sold this film on the grounds that it makes Theo Angelopoulos look like Michael Bay, but seriously, 150 shots in a 7 hour film? How did most of you guys watch it? broken or uninterrupted? What advice would you give somebody that was only contemplating watching it?
I’ve seen at least 3-4 of Tarr’s other films and liked them but at least 7.5 hours, i have to be really sure of this.
In a word, yes.
Ideally you should watch it all within a single day . . . all in one sitting is a bit tough.
I saw the first few episodes at MOMA a few years ago, and fell asleep. The spirit was willing, the flesh was unable.
I got the DVD (dreadful quality DVD, from Facets, they should be ashamed of themselves). Watched half of it on a long plane trip. LIked it a good deal, even if I did think some of it could be, shall we say, trimmed.
Finally saw it again at MOMA, made it all the way through. Very impressive film, some brilliant performances, almost intolerably sad, and incredibly powerful and moving.
I’d say don’t give up on it. The unique structure of the film repays repeat viewings.
In two words, watch it!
“Theo Angelopoulos look like Michael Bay”
Who told you that?
^^a friend of mine. it’s a joke Prokow! ;-) But still, Tarr does cane him in the long shot department, and we have the charts on here this site somewhere to prove it ;-)
I saw it on 35mm, although I had to skip an hour in the middle to catch Andrew Noren’s The Lighted Field.
I came to new york to watch it at MOMA back in October with Pete Rinaldi who’d never seen it before. When it ended he said to me “man, i didn’t want that to end”.
i felt the same way when i saw it the first time.
just watch it, and i agree with matt- try to do it in a single day. it completely deserves the reputation that it has.
It’s worth it. And those people who’ve seen it understand why it HAD to be so long for it to work. It’s best to read as little as possible about this film before you see it. And it is shown with two intermissions, so just watch it with those intermissions. And yes, you should watch it in one day.
it’s mesmerizing, yet i didn’t feel it absolutely HAD to be 7.5 hours. most of the long, continuous takes really had a grip on the isolation and hopelessness of a small town and its people, but there were a few moments that served little purpose other than repetition. All of the long takes involving the little girl were monumentally necessary and magnetic beyond anything i’ve ever witnessed though.
this being said, do watch it. especially if you liked any other Bela Tarr films at the slightest.
Did it in a span of nine hours, with one long lunch break and two get-up-and-run-around-the-block breaks.
I’m going to watch it again this summer, almost definitely.
I’ve seen it twice, once in cinema, once at home on DVD and didn’t regret one minute.
regardless of matters of preference (i mean, really….Jason, no? from a guy who appreciates the insult named Alexander? unless you meant something else?), you’re all damn lucky to have seen it on the big screen (whoever did) and most of you are lucky in general to have showings like this in your nearby areas or your country in general……..
one day? thanks blue. i’ll have to get up early sometime, lol.
(but u can’t watch berlin alexanderplatz in one day. well, u could. but i don’t see the point in that.)
John S.: Well, you’re talking about somewhat different things. Satantango is intended to be screened in cinema during one day, with two 10-15 min intermissions (for instance on the print when I’ve seen the film it was marked), Berlin, Alexanderplatz is a TV series meant to be screened episode by episode, no?
Jason has a right to his opinion, Dimitris. You have no reason to insult him. That is shameless of you.
Personally, having seen only Werckmerister Harmonies, I wouldn’t be surprised if the seven and a half hours goes by rather fast. That film was sincerely mesmerizing at times, and (especially if you’ve seen 3-4 of his films) you’ll know that he has a sense of rhythm to his works as efficient as Hou’s Millennium Mambo.
That day at MoMA with my buddy Jesse was the greatest cinematic experience of my life (a close 2nd was seeing “The Room” at the Ziegfeld last sat. night with 1300 people. ha!). I hate to sound like an elitist here, but if there ever was a film that HAD to ONLY be viewed in a theater, it is this one. If I ever own and run a repertory theater, which is a dream of mine, I would run Satantango every month (or at least 4 times a year).
I am not sure that my experience with this movie is the same as those who have seen it only on DVD. The film actually changed my physicality for the rest of the night into the next day. Does that happen from seeing it on TV? It is not just a question of size and quality, it is about attention and envelopment. With this film, that is of the utmost importance.
My first experience with much of SATANTANGO was on the cruddy Facets DVD, on a laptop on a cross-country flight. I was held by the first half of the film, up to the big dance in tavern.
And the one time I finally saw the film in toto, on a big screen at MOMA, the sound for much of the second half was problematic — the sound was vibrato, if you see what I mean, like Pinocchio underwater, kind of gargly, not really horribly so, but just noticeable enough to make you, well, notice that something didn’t sound right. It got to be really problematic during the final section, with those belltones that wound up sounding like a busy signal.
I’m going to have to say this: SATANTANGO is not a film to see once and check off your to-do list. To get anything like an understanding of it you’ll have to see it more than once.
Bottom line: I’ll go again when MOMA shows it.
-I hate to sound like an elitist here, but if there ever was a film that HAD to ONLY be viewed in a theater, it is this one.-
Yeah, I imagine that’s true. Unfortunately, other than the MOMA, there are only, what . . . a half dozen places in the US that will show it? Maybe a dozen?
Yeah, it really is too bad….
Hah- Roscoe was there too!
Missed this topic when it came by a few months ago. I saw Satantango in a theatre in Boston a couple years ago, with one 30 minute intermission. I would say that it is definitely worth seeing, and definitely is a theatre experience. I’m not sure I would have been able to finish it, much less enjoy it, if I had been at home conscious of time passing. In the theatre, the time honestly flew by. I spent what was left of my day and night thinking about it, and some scenes stick in my mind, even today.
I just saw this the other day at the Harvard Film Archive. It was screened with one 15 minute intermission and a 1 hour dinner break. I felt that was enough to stretch my legs and eat something quickly, however I do feel it interrupted the mood and emotional build of the film. I found myself taking 15 to 20 minutes to become fully immersed again.
I took my time with it. Watched it over 2 days. That was a fine pace for me.
I just finished watching this as well. I loved it, but can agree with what some people about the length. I have no problems with it being 7.5 hours, I think it’s warranted, but I could also say that it would have been possible to create a shorter cut. Still, I appreciate the way it makes you sit and digest it. Much of it was very beautiful, but maybe I’m unfairly comparing it against Turin Horse, which was the first Tarr I saw and which I think is a much better film. There, I think there’s more interesting choreography with the actors, objects and camera, and even more interesting color contrast and composing in depth. My other biggest problem was with the actor playing Irimias. With every other character at such a different pace, I think a lot was asked of him and I didn’t quite by his intelligence. Still, I’m nitpicking, I loved it.