Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó
Director: Béla Tarr
1994, Hungary | Germany | Switzerland, 450 mins., 4K Digital Cinema - Mono, NR
One of the greatest achievements in art house cinema and a seminal work of “slow cinema,” Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó (1994), follows members of a small, defunct agricultural collective living in a post-apocalyptic landscape after the fall of Communism who, on the heels of a large financial windfall, set out to leave their village. As a few of the villagers secretly conspire to take off with all of the earnings for themselves, a mysterious character, long thought dead, returns to the village, altering the course of everyone’s lives forever.
Shot in stunning black-and-white by Gábor Medvigy and filled with exquisitely composed and lyrical long takes, Sátántangó unfolds in twelve distinct movements, alternating forwards and backwards in time, echoing the structure of a tango dance. Tarr’s vision, aided by longtime partner and collaborator Ágnes Hranitzky, is enthralling and his portrayal of a rural Hungary beset by boozy dance parties, treachery, and near-perpetual rainfall is both transfixing and uncompromising. Sátántangó has been justly lauded by critics and audiences as a masterpiece and inspired none other than Susan Sontag to proclaim that she would be “glad to see it every year for the rest of [her] life”.
Sátántangó is being restored in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative by Arbelos in collaboration with The Hungarian Filmlab.
#36 on the Sight & Sound / BFI’s Critic’s Poll of the 100 Greatest Films Ever Made.
Sátántangó is 439 min (!) and will be presented with 2 intermissions.
Only 2 screenings! (you can watch part of it week 1 and come back week 2 if you like)