PASSION (György Fehér, 1998)

Pre-title, a threadbare kitchen is glaringly lit by a naked lightbulb. In the foreground, two men sit facing each other at table. On the left, the older man, light shining off his naked brow, silently faces down the younger man, who, underneath a hat, is submerged in darkness. The man on the right is under […]

THE MAN FROM LONDON (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, 2007)

“[W]e don’t translate literature into film; rather, we translate literature back into life.” — Béla Tarr, discussing his film from Georges Simenon’s L’homme de Londres A londoni férfi, in French and English, involves a wee-hours fight between two men on a dock that ends in a drowning death—and the loss of the case in which […]

ALMANAC OF FALL (Béla Tarr, 1984)

Béla Tarr’s Öszi almanach is beautifully crafted, but it is so unpleasant, so nasty and pessimistic, I ended up hating it. The entire action, much of which consists of intimate two-person conversations and (verbal, physical) confrontations, unfolds in Hédi’s flat—an intricately detailed, occasionally mysterious, half-expressionistic space. Hédi (Hédi Temessy, impressive), who is about sixty, lives […]