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Sunset
László Nemes हंगेरी, 2018
While Sunset isn’t as grueling [as Son of Saul], it still demands that each corner of the frame be examined with the attention of an investigator. Sometimes the image will capture only a glimpse of what Írisz sees, while at other times, the soundtrack provides only clues to the violence and mayhem heard off-screen.
April 03, 2019
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That style applied to the endless horrors depicted in “Son of Saul” made it sometimes unbearable to watch, which was the point. Here, the technique is applied to an allegory of nearly suffocating self-seriousness, to much less powerful effect.
March 21, 2019
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Nemes can be relentlessly opaque, which at time makes the film a drag to follow. But there’s method in his determination to leave us with nowhere to park our own affinities. He’s showing us the soil in which fascism takes root, and in this sense Sunsetoperates as a kind of prequel to the director’s 1915 Son of Saul.
March 21, 2019
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Propulsive energy and dread-tinged restraint provide a structuring tension that defines the film’s formal and textural composition.
March 01, 2019
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Tremendous care has gone into period details (the costumes, in particular, are ravishing) that are only glimpsed in a blur. Nemes insists upon a meticulous physical recreation of the past—no digital backdrops or effects were used, and Sunset was shot on film—and at the same time refuses to let the audience bask in the pleasures of turn-of-the-century elegance.
February 01, 2019
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In Sunset, Nemes’s filmmaking is as absorbing as it was in Son of Saul. Budapest at the beginning of the 20th century—where an orphaned young woman, Irisz, searches for her mysterious brother while working at an upscale hat emporium—presents its own kind of nightmare, made ominous and fantastical through Nemes’ claustrophobic framing, chiaroscuro look, and fluid camera movement.
September 25, 2018
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In my opinion, Nemes has done something extraordinary. He has taken the same basic approach but turned it to an entirely different use. Now the restricted point of view functions to slowly dole out clues in a complicated double mystery plot. The result is complex, tantalizing, and absorbing.
September 19, 2018
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All this motion gives an impression of a world that is not so much constructed for the camera but rather is full, whose existence seethes even beyond the edges of the frame.
September 09, 2018
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In Nemes’s second feature Sunset—arguably the most audacious film in this year’s Venice Film Festival—it’s not the moral situation of the heroine that we’re invited to assess, but something more fundamental. Sunset challenges us from start to finish simply to make head or tail of what’s going on.
September 07, 2018
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While this personal story is obviously very political, the film is so sparse on information that its dramaturgy of a deferred uncovering soon seems more like mannerism.
September 06, 2018
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As with Pynchon, history is represented as an entropic, conspirational whirlwind that sweeps ups the individual, for whom the exercise of free will is a pursuit at once vital and futile. To rush along at this breakneck rhythm for almost two-and-a-half hours is intoxicating and exhausting.
September 06, 2018
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