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Béla Tarr


“I think censorship is always there. Then it was the censorship of the state and now it's the censorship of the market.”



Born in 1955, Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began making amateur films at the age of 16, later working as caretaker at a national House for Culture and Recreation. His amateur work brought him to the attention of the Bela Balazs Studios (named in honor of the Hungarian cinema theorist), which helped fund Tarr’s 1979 feature debut Family Nest, a work of socialist realism clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavettes. The 1981 piece The Outsider and the following year’s The Prefab People continued in much the same vein, but with a 1982 television adaptation of Macbeth, his work began to change dramatically; comprised of only two shots, the first shot (before the main title) was five minutes long, with the second 67 minutes in length. Not only did Tarr’s visual sensibility move from raw close-ups to more abstract mediums and long shots, but also his philosophical sensibility shifted from grim realism to a more metaphysical outlook similar to that of Andrei Tarkovsky. After 1984’s… read more


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The must have critical analysis book about Béla Tarr's movies:éla-Tarr-Directors/dp/0231165315

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Please add "Tarr Béla, I Used To Be a Filmmaker".

Narda likes this

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João Lda.


Oh my holy master, now that your reign has ended who is going to follow your unforgettable black-and-white cinematography and amazing screenplays in modern cinema? Forever in love with your work...

Janice and chanandre like this

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    As long as at least Lav Diaz keeps making films there's still hope.

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    Yeah but how much time is there in a day to watch Lav's films?

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    João Lda.


    Lol, you're kind of right ;)

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    Slow Immersion


    Yes, I feel the same. So few auteurs like Tarr that it was made all the worse when he retired :( As far as ex filmmakers, György Fehér has some nice films, and also collaborated with Tarr before. Twilight is my favourite of the two. I do see many similarities between Diaz and Tarr, both stylistically and thematically, but I find their films quite different in a visual sense. For me Lav's films aren't really pleasing on the eye, and I don't find his framing impressive. Thanks to Tarr and his collaborators, the tracking shots and framing are exquisite, and watching his films are things of bleak beauty. On the other hand, I can't say I enjoy the visual side of Diaz's films, but I guess in other elements he is close as to Tarr.

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For those interested, 2 recent & fabulous books on Bela Tarr: The Cinema of Béla Tarr: The Circle Closes by András Bálint Kovács ( & Béla Tarr, The Time After by Jacques Rancière ( Also my own creative/ekphrastic response to Damnation & Satantango: ( forthcoming from Penny-Ante Editions.


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Displaying 5 discussion topics.

What about Bela Tarr

12 posts by 7 people 5 months ago

susan sontag (or others) on bela tarr?

16 posts by 9 people 8 months ago

Werckmeister Harmonies

133 posts by 36 people about 1 year ago

Bela Tarr's last film

44 posts by 23 people over 2 years ago

Béla Tarr

10 posts by 6 people about 4 years ago