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March 9 - March 25, 2012 The Melancholy Worlds of Béla Tarr Béla Tarr (b.

1955) is the ultimate auteurist’s auteur, an artist who ascended from a cult director little known outside of his native Hungary to one of the most revered figures in world cinema today, all the while stoking an enflamed cinephilia among his growing legion of passionate followers. His 1988 film Damnation offered the first full expression of the unique style defined by Tarr across the four extraordinary features he directed since then, all sharing brooding black and white cinematography, elaborately choreographed extended tracking shots, a hypnotic rhythm and enigmatic stories imbued with a sense of impending doom. In each film Tarr pushes these unmistakable qualities to a seemingly insurmountable extreme, giving way to the mesmerizing monumentality of his audacious seven-and-a-half-hour epic Sátántangó and the stark minimalism of his brilliant summary work The Turin Horse, Tarr’s latest and declared last film. Tarr launched his career with a series of blistering and intense documentary-style films that quickly moved from the urgent engagement of contemporary social problems in Family Nest to the increasingly theatrical, abstract and claustrophobic study of avarice and depravation unfolded in Almanac of Fall – a film whose daring use of unconventional composition and unnatural dialogue points directly towards Tarr’s later work. The roots of Tarr’s cinema in the documentary leanings of the so-called Budapest School nevertheless remain legible in the richly mannered late work whose strange artifice and darkly fantastical (at times almost science-fiction) dimensions depend upon an exacting fidelity to space and time. In this way Tarr uses a remarkably mobile camera to exhaustively track the complete arc of actions, from the spinning drunkards in a dingy bar in Werkmeister Harmonies to the daily labor of the farmers in The Turin Horse. Like the great films of Tarkovsky and Ophuls, Tarr’s iconic work favors an assertively mobile camera that dynamically expands cinematic space and time while defining a foreboding yet graceful omnipotence, the roving camera seeming to embody the unknown forces that control the perpetually wintery and seemingly about to be extinguished worlds inhabited by Tarr’s films. Despite their sense of dark menace, Tarr’s films are incomparably engaging and remarkably exhilarating to behold, their careful use of repetition seeming always about to crest and climax, creating a hypnotic suspension perfectly expressed in the serial soundtracks brilliantly designed by composer Mihály Vig. Fascinating for their ambiguity, Tarr’s films are legible as rich allegories for the collapse of Western civilization and the revenge of ravaged Nature. At the same time, the recurrent figures within them of men and women fighting with grim determination against an endless storm also offer poignant expressions of the paradoxical stubbornness, the strange insistence, of human desire and ambition.

With János Derzsi. Special thanks: Scott Foundas. The Turin Horse is structured around one week in the back-breaking lives of an aging farmer and his daughter. Tarr’s sweeping black and white cinematography takes on new poignancy in the twilight of the photochemical age. setting and cast. A remarkably hypnotic and immersive film. Erika Bók. Hungarian Filmunio. 146 min. alone on a barren. The Turin Horse offers a masterful and melancholy summary of his unique visionary cinema. Isa Cucinotta. b/w. sound and motion to an expressive extreme. The Turin Horse pushes Tarr’s interest in texture. rendering the tired horse a weary and obsolete ancestor of the Muybridgean stallion who inspired the cinema itself. Film Society of Lincoln Center. Friday March Sunday March 11 at 7pm 9 at 7pm The Turin Horse (A torinói ló) Directed by Béla Tarr. Ryan Krivoshey. Mokép-Pannónia. Zsófia Bognár. Harvard University. including the area premiere of The Turin Horse. Embracing an extraordinary minimalism of story. windswept farm with a recalcitrant horse that suddenly refuses to work. This program is presented with support from the Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe. giving way to a sensorial richness rare in cinema today. Mihály Kormos Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland/USA 2011. Saturday March 10 at 7pm Damnation (Kárhozat) .The Harvard Film Archive is thrilled to offer this rare showcase of Béla Tarr’s feature films. Hungarian with English subtitles Boldly proclaimed by Tarr to be his last film. 35mm. Cinema Guild. Katalin Vajda.

116 min. rainy and irretrievably melancholy realm that is arguably Tarr’s greatest creation. Damnation – with its decaying factories. The Outsider imparts a mutual theme: the hard barter of individual – usually male – freedom for a “normal” life of work and family. Tarr continues his unpretentious reflections on the symbiotic. Imre Donko Hungary 1979. dingy bars and bleak. Péter Breznyik Hungary 1988.Directed by Béla Tarr. Saturday March 10 at 9:15pm The Outsider (Szabadgyalog) Directed by Béla Tarr. In his second feature. easy-going András Szabó drifts along an aimless path – performing and drinking his central pleasures. alcoholic philosophers and lost artists who seek the life of Beethoven or Haydn without the work ethic. János Balogh. Played by a musician of the same name. 122 min. marriage and fatherhood only blur the edges of his desultory descent through the landscape of modern Budapest’s bohemian fringe. inarticulate relationships between personal dysfunction and social malady. With András Szabó. With Gábor Balogh. the ambition or any support. independent American cinema of the same period. a nightclub singer and her smuggler husband. Hungarian with English subtitles Tarr made a dramatic stylistic and critical breakthrough with this brooding and visually striking study of desolation and betrayal set in small town Hungary and tracing the cruel love triangle that emerges between a taciturn loner. digital video. Work. He joins the listless drug addicts. b/w. 35mm. Hungarian with English subtitles Assuming the freeform structure of naturalistic. The first of five films to date written with novelist László Krasznahorkai and structured around the haunting minimalist music of Mihály Vig. Jolan Fodor. Sunday March 11 at 4:30pm . color. expressionistic landscapes – introduced the dark.

35mm. their vicious cycle continues indefinitely through an ending – recalling that of The Graduate – which suggests the mass production of the modern. b/w. With Róbert Koltai. With László Horvath. 35mm. Gábor Kun Hungary 1977. Tarr perfects his documentary-style social dramas in this study of a marriage in permanent decomposition. Rife with all the ills of a demoralized society. . 82 min. Monday March 12 at 7pm Family Nest (Családi Tüzfészek) Directed by Béla Tarr. Béla Tarr’s first feature recalls both Frederick Wiseman and John Cassavetes in its mix of raw. Hungarian with English subtitles “We can understand. Irén and her husband ache to escape the chaotic confines of a tiny flat where nine people live under the reign of an abrasive. the claustrophobic clamor of this “nest” stuns with its penetrating immediacy. Hungarian with English subtitles In his first film using professional actors. 100 min.The Prefab People (Panelkapcsolat) Directed by Béla Tarr.” the social services employee intones to a desperate mother in an unnervingly realistic episode that encapsulates the cycle of grief and torment experienced by those trapped in Hungary’s housing shortage of the 1970s. a mug and a bottle of liquor – to an exquisitely restrained scene in a night club where an unspoken procession of emotions details the stubbornlymaintained chasm between them. up-close cinema verité style and imperceptible use of nonprofessional actors. Gábor Koltai Hungary 1982. Judit Pógany. Further realized in cleverly ambiguous editing. b/w. occasionally interrupted by incongruous pop music interludes that only lengthen the distance between desire and reality. damaged family unit. we can’t help. abusive patriarch. Lászlóné Horvath. Made when he was only 22. A middle-class couple’s daily clashes range from the uncomfortable comedy of their ninth anniversary celebration – with his gifts of hairspray.

color. 120 min. introduces nature and the animal kingdom as main protagonists and mysterious voices of the dark animism explored throughout the film’s fascinating seven and a half hours. Hungarian with English subtitles The apocalyptic impulse of Tarr’s late films finds its fullest expression in his celebrated epic ambiguously structured around the collapse of a remote collective farm and the arrival of a strange messiah figure determined to either save or sacrifice the community to an unknown cause. With Hédi Temessy. Hungarian with English subtitles Considered a turning point from Tarr’s early social realism to his later precisely formal work. László Lugossy Hungary/Germany/Switzerland 1994. Putyi Horváth. Miklós B. Erika Bodnár. Sátántangó is a grand expression of the postindustrial primitivism at the heart of Tarr and Krasznahorkai’s vision. Székely Hungary 1983. b/w. Please note: screening includes a 15-minute intermission and 1-hour dinner break. a dizzying neoBrueghelism. 35mm. Monday March 19 at 7pm Almanac of Fall (Öszi almanach) Directed by Béla Tarr. 435 min. 35mm. Almanac of Fall elliptically discloses the shifting relationships between five inhabitants of a house through a chain of theatrical tête-à-têtes. Describing a peasant land seemingly trapped out of time.Saturday March Sunday March 18 at 2pm 17 at 2pm Satantango (Sátántango) Directed by Béla Tarr. Their philosophical . With Mihály Vig. The bravura tracking shot which opens Sátántangó following a dramatic tide of cattle pouring out across a ramshackle hamlet.

the cursed spirits seem destined to reenact their base desires and vengeful patterns in a disorienting purgatory of opulent decay. dimensions in the context of the policier in which all places become potential crime scenes. Tarr’s heightened attention to surface. almost metaphysical. equally conspiratorial camera. 139 min. Tilda Swinton. With Lars Rudolph. b/w. Lit by expressionistic. Hungarian with English subtitles Woefully misunderstood and obscured in the storm cloud of controversy that surrounded its difficult production. Hanna Schygulla Hungary/Italy/Germany/France 2000. all objects tinged with the aura of evidence. 145 min. Peter Fitz. Sunday March 25 at 7pm Werckmeister Harmonies (Werckmeister harmóniák) Directed by Béla Tarr. lurid colors and followed by the mysterious gaze of a meandering. In its brilliantly choreographed and breathtaking extended opening shot. Tarr and Krasznahorkai’s George Simenon adaptation nevertheless occupies a central piece in his complex oeuvre. Tarr immediately challenges the viewer to become a detective observing an obscure crime that unfolds in a dockyard at night. Sunday March 25 at 4:30pm The Man From London (A Londoni férfi) Directed by Béla Tarr. Ági Szirtes France/Germany/Hungary 2007. under the watchful eye of a mysterious and potently cinematic lighthouse. With Miroslav Krobot. Hungarian with English subtitles . 35mm.quandaries and deferred dreams coil into bitter circles of duplicitous manipulations that fuel eruptions of violence and underhanded exit strategies. 35mm. b/w. textures and the organic details of environment take on new.

” he – and apparently Béla Tarr – request. overpowering shots are strung together by a liquid. Harvard Film Archive is a division of Fine Arts Library of the Harvard College Library. “All I ask is that you step with me into the boundlessness where constancy. Copyright © 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College. impassive camera observing the stark. isolated town in Tarr’s cosmic fairy tale. The lone optimist. The recent arrival of a circus containing the remains of a giant whale and the unseen presence of a potentially powerful prince unnerves all except for János. paranoia and ominous prophecies. quietude and peace. Vast. he is easily eclipsed by the residents’ rampant fear. infinite emptiness reign. Exploited by dark political forces attempting to impose absolute order upon imperfect humanity. metaphysical finale to Tarr’s transcendent vision. . the troubled town summons an astonishing.János Valuska could be the director of the film or the director of the universe as he arranges the drunkards of the town in the formation of the solar system to explain the oncoming eclipse.