The story takes place on the Great Hungarian Plain where the protagonists live on an abandoned collective farm that hasn’t produced anything in a long time. Thoughts of escape are the only cure for their awareness of the decay consuming everything. The inhabitants come up with more and more elaborate plans to cheat and hinder one another—until, one day, the “messiah” arrives in the form of a crook and former police informant. Convinced that he will cleanse them of their evil ways and forgive their sins of the past, the protagonists follow him across the plain. Sátántangó is a modernist work by Tarr, which not only boldly continues, but even radicalizes, the contemplative movement represented by Ozu, Antonioni, Tarkowski and Jarmusch. Black-and-white is the answer to the overly saturated chaos of visual culture. Long shots and a lack of cuts are a reaction to the insane tempo of music videos and commercials. The 7.5-hour running time is a response to superficiality, to the demand for a quick response and subliminal impressions. This is a simple story to counteract the aggressiveness of plot. The film’s extraordinary length and pace are means of telling the story, not ends in themselves.
The plan of the screening:
Part I: 145’ (30’ break)
Part II: 130’ (30’ break)
Part III: 170’
Hungarian filmmaker born in 1955. Tarr’s 1979 feature debut Family Nest, is a work of socialist realism clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavetes. In late eighties 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. His masterpiece Satan’s Tango took over seven years to realize and finally appeared to international acclaim in 1994.
1979 Ognisko zapalne / Családi tüzfészek / Family Nest
1982 Ludzie z prefabrykatów / Panelkapcsolat / The Prefab People
1994 Szatańskie tango / Sátántangó / Satan’s Tango
2000 Harmonie Werckmeistera / Werckmeister harmóniák / Werckmeister Harmonies
2007 Człowiek z Londynu / A Londoni férfi / The Man from London
2011 Koń turyński / A torinói ló / The Turin Horse